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PRIlSrCETON, N. J. 



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THE DIVINE UNITY 



OF 



SCRIPTURE 



THE DIVINE UNITY 



OF 



SCRIPTURE 



BY THE LATE REV. 

ADOLPH SAPHIR, D.D. 



'Ronton 

HODDER AND STOUGHTON 

27 PATERNOSTER ROW 



MDCCcxcn 



PREFACE 



These lectures of Dr. Saphir were delivered in 
Kensington, at the close of 1889 and beginning 
of 1890. They are, in some respects, the most 
important of all his writings, as they give, in con- 
nected form, his matured views of the relation of 
the two great divisions of the Bible. No preacher 
or writer of our day had such a clear insight into 
the spirit and connection of the sacred writings. 
This was the great charm of his preaching, which 
made it so attractive to many earnest -minded 
Christians of all churches. It was full of instruc- 
tion, because it brought out the deep meaning, quite 
apparent when indicated, — for his interpretations 
were not fanciful, but real, — of the symbols and 
prophecies of the Old Testament, as well as of the 
narratives and sayings of the New. The unity 
of teaching he most clearly proved, and strikingly 
illustrated. His identification of Jehovah with Jesus 
can scarcely be disputed, by any careful and prayerful 
student of Scripture. It is everywhere manifest, in 
the claims and teachings of Jesus Himself. His 
distinction between monotheism and Jehovahism is 
vital, and clears away much of the vague mistiness 
of modern speculation. Dr. Saphir was a man of 
genius and commanding intellect, belonging to a 



VI PREFACE 

family famed for literary ability throughout Germany 
and Hungary. His Jewish mind and training en- 
abled him easily to apprehend the typology and 
eastern imagery of the Bible. He had also the 
great advantage of understanding thoroughly both 
the philosophy and literature of Germany, having 
been brought into painful contact in his youth with 
Hegelianism (by which he was much attracted), as 
well as with the now prevalent materialism. He 
understood, therefore, much better than most English 
theologians, the sources from which many of the 
weapons are derived, that are now used, in the 
criticism of the Old Testament. These lectures are 
better than directly controversial. Indirectly, as for 
instance in meeting the attempt to weaken the 
authority of Christ's testimony to the ancient scrip- 
tures, they seriously affect the position of recent 
assailants of the antiquity and authenticity of the 
books of Moses and the prophets. They bring out 
also such an organic connection between the Penta- 
teuch — as the basis — and the books which follow, 
and also between the histories, psalms, and pro- 
phecies themselves as to render the attempt to 
revolutionise the times and order exceedingly diffi- 
cult. I may state, in conclusion, that Dr. Saphir 
had these lectures carefully written out by a well- 
known reporter, which was his usual method, and 
was preparing them for the press, when he was so 
suddenly and unexpectedly removed from the earthly 
scene. They are published — with, of course, cor- 
rections for the press — -just as he left them. 

G. CARLYLE. 

London, 1892. 



CONTENTS 



LECT. PAGE 

1. The Eternal Word and the Written Word . i 

2. A Book Revelation an Intrinsic Necessity . 20 

3. The Relation of the Human, Historical, etc.. 

Elements to the Divine . . . .38 

4. The Testimony of Jesus considered— and Decisive 62 

5. The Jews— as Custodians and Witnesses . . 83 

6. Israel since the Dispersion — an Evidence of the 

Truth of Prophecy . . . . .104 

7. The Church of Christ based on the Old Testa- 

ment—The New Testament . . .' . -125 

8. Present Aspects of Doubt and Unbelief as regards 

THE Scriptures ..... 149 

9. Alleged Discordance between the Old and New 

Testaments . . . • • . t68 



CONTENTS 



10. The Perfect Harmony of the Old and New 

Testaments ...... 191 

11. The Books of Israel and of the Church shown 

TO be organically connected . . . 216 

12. Our Faith based on Facts — and the Bible a Book 

of Facts ...... 238 

13. Objections to Miracle have no Basis in Reason 262 

14. The Doctrinal, Typical, and Prophetical Aspects 

of the History of Israel .... 286 

15. The Deep Spiritual Meaning of the Decalogue 

and of the whole Law .... 309 

16. The Jewish Ordinances shown to reveal vividly 

the Gospel ...... 337 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND THE WRITTEN WORD 

The Bible a living book in the present day — The organic connection 
between Jesus Christ the eternal Word of God, and the Bible 
the written Word of God — As Jesus the Son of God and Son of 
Man, so the Bible the Word of God and yet an intensely human 
book — As Jesus Son of David, so the Bible a Jewish book, 
written by Jews, but for all nations — Objections made to God 
revealing Himself in a book — How it became spread among the 
nations — Influence of Greek translation — How it has outlived 
persecution, imprisonment, rationalism, infidelity, pantheism, and 
criticism — Never more a living book than at present — Translated 
into all languages, adapts itself to all nations — Its great influence 
on English and other literature — Its power over children — Testi- 
mony of Huxley in regard to this — Professor vSt. Hilaire — The 
style of the Bible — Heine — Contrast between inspiration and genius 
— The Bible never old — General Schmidtt's answer to Frederick 
the Great — Strauss's remarkable statement. 

My subject this morning is — The Bible a Living Book 
in the Present Day. 

Between Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, 
and Scripture, the written Word of God, there is 
an organic connection ; and because there is this 
unity there are a number of resemblances, which 
strike even the most superficial observer, between 
Jesus Christ and the Bible. I shall instance only 
three. 

B 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND 



The first is that Jesus is the Son of God, the 
Lord from heaven — who came from above ; and that 
Jesus at the same time is the Son of Man who in 
all things became like unto His brethren. So we 
behold the Scripture — the Word of God and yet an 
intensely human book, written by men and for men, 
and breathing everywhere the atmosphere of human 
life and of human emotions. 

The second parallel is this — that Jesus not merely 
is man born of a woman, but that He is the Son of 
David and the Son of Abraham. He came out of 
Bethlehem. He was brought up in Nazareth. He 
taught in Galilee and Judsea, and over His cross 
the words were written " Jesus, King of the Jews " ; 
and the special relation in which Jesus stands to the 
Jews was not merely for a certain period, but for all 
the ages, as long as this earth stands and the sun and 
moon endure. Likewise the Scripture is an intensely 
Jewish book. All the authors, both of the Old and 
New Testament writings, not even Luke the beloved 
physician excepted, were Hebrews of the Hebrews. 
Jewish is the history, Jewish is the tone in which 
it is written ; even the Greek writings of the New 
Testament speak with the voice of Israel ; and 
the full contents of holy Scripture will never be 
thoroughly understood, until Israel is again brought 
back to the allegiance and faith of its Messiah. 

But although Jesus came to His own, yet Jesus is 
the Light of the World, the Blessing of all Nations, 
and the name of Jesus is to be made known among 
all families and kindreds of the earth, for there is 
only one God and one Mediator between God and 
man — the man Christ Jesus. Likewise is this 
Jewish Bible the book for the whole world, and here 



THE WRITTEN WORD 



there is neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian, Scythian, 
bond nor free. It is the book of humanity. 

Third parallel : Jesus Christ spoke in the simplest 
possible language. He taught daily in the temple. 
He spoke in the streets and in the concourse of the 
multitudes. He said, " He that hath ears let him 
hear," and yet only they that were enlightened by 
the Spirit of God were able to understand His words. 
Only His sheep hear His voice. Likewise the Bible 
is the simplest book accessible to the most illiterate 
and to children, and yet it requires the illumination 
of the Holy Ghost in order that its simple words 
may be understood and its lucid and clear invitations 
and announcements may be accepted. 

If there is this resemblance between Christ and 
the Scripture, there is also a resemblance between 
the effect of Christ's words, and the effect of the 
Scriptures, on the minds of men. The words of our 
blessed Saviour drew round Him various circles, 
more or less distant from Him. The outer circle is 
pictured in the officers who went to take Jesus, 
and who said, " Never man spake like this man." 
There was something so unique, so real, there was 
something so high above all human utterances in 
the words of this man, that this very peculiarity 
declared unto them His sacred right of authority. 
The world has never heard such a voice. The world 
has never heard such words and such wisdom. 

Nearer to Christ is another circle. When the 
men who were in the synagogue of Nazareth and 
who listened to the words of Jesus as He expounded 
His mission to them from the prophet Isaiah, bore 
witness to Him, and were astonished on account of 
the gracious words which flowed from His lips, their 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND 



feelings were touched, their imagination was roused. 
Still nearer were those who, after the Sermon on the 
Mount, were astonished at His teaching, and said 
that He spoke with power and not as the scribes. 
Here the conscience and the heart were stirred. 
There is a message of God Himself to men in the 
words of this man. 

Still nearer to Christ were the disciples who said, 
" Lord, to whom shall we go ? Thou hast the words 
of eternal life " ; and yet closer to Him were the 
apostles, and all Christians after the coming of the 
Spirit on the clay of Pentecost, who, in the fulness of 
the assurance of understanding and of joy, were able 
to say, " The darkness is past and the true light now 
shineth." 

But to-day I wish to speak only of the very 
outermost circle round Christ — the world that says 
of the Scripture, " Never man spake like this man." 

But before I speak of the Scriptures or Bible — 
" the Book " — I wish to remind you of the objections 
which have often been brought forward against our 
assertion that God has embodied His message unto 
mankind in a BOOK. That seems a strange and a 
mechanical thing to some men who are conversant 
chiefly with their own intuitions and with the specula- 
tions of the human mind. Let us think, then, for a 
moment why God has chosen a book to be the 
channel, the vehicle of His thoughts and of His 
purposes to mankind. 

The gift of language is very wonderful, nay, it 
is divine. It is the Rubicon which none of the 
lower creation have ever crossed. Man alone upon 
earth speaks, and we are unable to separate thought 
and self-consciousness from words. Man is able to 



THE WRITTEN WORD 



communicate his thoughts and his feelings to his 
fellow-man in words. Man is able to embody his 
experiences in words. As long as human beings 
attained such a long life as we read of in the 
book of Genesis, tradition was a safe vehicle for 
conveying important thoughts and events and facts 
to subsequent generations. But, very soon, man felt 
the need of securing and embodying his words in 
such a form that they would be steadfast and correct 
and easily accessible. And what a wonderful bene- 
factor of the human race was he who invented 
writing ! It seems as if, by writing, thoughts were 
imprisoned, stereotyped ; but, rather, by means of 
writing, thoughts receive wings to fly abroad through 
all the ages and nations of the earth. Without 
writing, human progress would have been almost 
impossible, individual progress exceedingly slow, the 
progress of communities scarcely perceptible. 

And here, again, there is a distinction to be 
made. Some of the ancient nations embodied their 
thoughts in writings which appealed to the eye, 
reminding the eye of objects and actions, by pic- 
tures, which were brought before it, whereas, a far 
more perfect way of conveying our thoughts is by an 
alphabet which, through the eye, affects the inner 
ear, and in which every sign is representative of a 
sound ; — this was the kind of writing which was 
known, probably to the patriarchs, certainly to 
Moses and to the people of Israel in his day, so 
that we meet now with this extraordinary fact, that 
the Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians, 
nations far greater and more powerful than the 
Jews, earnestly wishing to give immortality to 
themselves and to their history, embodied their 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND 



past experiences in great and colossal monuments 
upon which there were inscribed mysterious figures. 
Notwithstanding, for centuries and centuries they re- 
mained unknown to the world, and within even the 
last century they exercised, and sometimes baffled, 
the sagacity of the most ingenious, whereas this 
poor despised nation — God's nation — was able ^ from 
the beginning, in an easy, correct, and accessible 
manner, to embody its history, also in a compact and 
continuous method, — and for ages all the educated 
nations of the earth have known that history. Your 
children and the children of most of the nations of 
Europe were familiar with that history before they were 
familiar with the history of their own country. When, 
therefore, God said to Moses, " Write in a book," 
and again, " Write in a book," and when we find 
that our Saviour and all the apostles laid such great 
emphasis upon that which is written, and when John 
in the Apocalypse received again the command, 
" Write in a book," do we not see that God acted, 

^ In a paper on the great discovery of the cuneiform inscriptions of 
Tel-el-Amarna by Professor Sayce, the discoverer, read at the Victoria 
Institute in 1889, it is said "How highly educated this old world was 
we are but just beginning to learn. But we have already learnt enough 
to discover how important a bearing it has on the criticism of the Old 
Testament. It has long been tacitly assumed by the critical school that 
writing was not only a rare art in Palestine before the age of David, but 
was practically unknown. Little historical credence can be placed, it 
has been urged, in the earlier records of the Hebrew people, because 
they could not have been committed to writing until a period when the 
history of the past had become traditional and mythical. But this 
assumption can no longer be maintained. Long before the Exodus, 
Canaan had its libraries and its scribes, its schools and literary men. 
The annals of the country, it is true, were not inscribed in the letters of 
the Phoenician alphabet on perishable papyrus ; the writing material 
was the imperishable clay ; the characters those of the cuneiform 
syllabary." 



THE WRITTEN WORD 



not merely with the most profound wisdom, but also 
with the most fatherly adaptation to the wants of 
humanity ? 

But I must advance a step further. By degrees 
the books of the Old Testament were written, as the 
history of the Old Testament developed. Israel 
after the captivity, having been, by the judgment of 
God, delivered from idolatry, now concentrated all its 
religious and intellectual energy upon the Scripture, 
the law, and the teaching which God had given 
them, — and with the utmost reverence and the most 
scrupulous fidelity they collected and they preserved 
the sacred writings. But the book was in Hebrew 
and it was in Palestine, in a corner of the world ; 
and if this book is for the world, who is to publish it 
and give it unto the nations ? Then there came 
that wonderful conqueror Alexander the Great, a 
bright meteor appearing for a brief time, — and this 
was his great work that he introduced the language 
and the culture of Greece into Asia. Thus there 
was formed a bridge between the Jews in Palestine 
and the whole outer world. The Greek language 
was destined to become the language of the whole 
inhabited earth, and thus in the providence of God, 
through the existence of multitudes of Jews in 
Alexandria and the surrounding countries, there was 
produced the translation of the Hebrew Bible into 
the Greek Septuagint, which served a double purpose 
— first, God's Scriptures were now translated into a 
language in which they could reach all the known 
nations of the earth ; and secondly, that very 
language, the Greek language, was made plastic 
to express those ideas which no Greek, in fact 
no nation of the world, ever had before, and which 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND 



were embodied in the New Testament — the ideas 
of humility, of grace, of God, — and afterwards the 
evangelists and the apostles found ready to their 
hand the Greek language in which they carried the 
tidings of salvation unto all the nations of the earth. 
When this book was thus formed — the Old Testa- 
ment by the care of the Jews, the New Testament 
by the care of the early Church — then it began its 
history among the nations ; and what I wish to 
impress upon you to-day is, that if we have the book 
at present as a living book amongst us, this is a 
wonderful fact, for the persecution of it has never 
ceased. 

This book was in the first place persecuted by 
pagan Rome. There was a persecution of the 
Bible and of the people that possessed it. One of 
the persecutions was in the year 303. The early 
Christians delighted in the Word of God. The 
early teachers of the Christian faith exhorted them 
to study the whole of the Word. Irena^us says, 
" Read the whole Scripture because it is written 
' Of every tree of the garden shalt thou eat.' " 
Origen says, " You must not neglect the Old Testa- 
ment but study it equally with the New, in order 
that you may be as a good householder bringing 
forth out of his treasure, things both old and new." 
And thus at the public assemblies of the Christians 
large portions of the Scriptures were read ; and since 
copies of the Scriptures were expensive,^ those 

^ Writings were, however, much cheaper at this period of the early 
Church than many suppose. There were great numbers of copyists of 
the Greek and Latin writers, so that copies could be got for very 
moderate sums. There were many copyists or scribes, doubtless, also 
in the Church, 



THE WRITTEN WORD 



Christians who were rich spent large sums of money 
in getting copies distributed among the poor members 
of the Church. So the Christians often met to- 
gether in friendly and familiar intercourse, in order 
that the Scripture might be read aloud to them ; 
and so intently did they listen to the reading of the 
Scriptures that Eusebius tells us that one John in 
Egypt, who conducted services, was able to repeat 
not merely chapters, but whole sections of the Word 
of God. The pagans saw that these Scriptures were 
the very strength of the hated doctrine, and therefore 
the edict of Diocletian went forth. Many copies of 
the Scriptures were burnt, and many of those who 
kept the Scriptures were put to most painful and 
agonising deaths — two bishops among them. Papal 
Rome also persecuted the Scriptures, but chiefly in 
this way — that instead of being the custodian of 
Scripture it became the jailer of Scripture, and for 
many centuries the Word of God was hidden from 
the people, and legends and traditions of men 
became the food of the human mind. When Martin 
Luther emancipated the Scriptures and sent them 
forth into the world, the discovery of printing, under 
the providence of God, having been made only a 
few years before, the teaching of Luther began and 
continued, with the key which opened the Scriptures, 
namely, justification by faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Then the nations of Europe came and 
listened gladly to the heavenly voice. Still the 
Book had not exhausted all the persecutions it was 
to endure, for after a while it was persecuted by 
Rationalism, — and it is very important to note this 
fact ; for some of those who call themselves ad- 
vanced, but are in reality the most retrograde people 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND 



we have among us, are, perhaps unconsciously to 
themselves, leading us back again to that dreary 
sandy desert. A Rationalist does not believe in the 
divinity of Christ, does not believe in the direct 
interference of God in miracle, does not believe in 
prophecy as foretelling future events, does not believe 
in the expiatory atonement of our Saviour. What 
does he believe ? He believes no more than he 
might know without the Bible, except that in Jesus 
there appears a beautiful and a grand character. 
This Rationalism, while treating the Bible outwardly 
with respect, leaves it like Samson shorn of his 
locks and his eyes blind when the cry went forth, 
" The Philistines are upon thee." Oh, no wonder 
that there is no strength and no energy in this emas- 
culated Bible. 

Then came the period of infidelity — bold, mocking, 
scornful, calling the Bible a liar, and predicting that 
in fifty years there would not be a trace or a vestige 
left of this book. Then, even in our own days, there 
came Pantheism, which said that miracle was im- 
possible, that there was no personal God, that that 
which is God becomes conscious of itself only in the 
human mind, and that therefore all the narratives 
concerning Jesus Christ were only mythical garments 
by which to represent an idea. Pantheists derided the 
Bible as a thing that had long had influence, but had 
now disappeared from among living powers. 

Then came the internal criticism, applying the 
resources of history, of physical science, of archaeology, 
to examining the Scriptures and the authenticity and 
integrity of its various books, which has precisely 
the same effect on the mass of people as tradi- 
tion had under the influence of Rome, — namely, to 



THE WRITTEN WORD 



make them think that the simple and unlearned 
man is not able to understand the Scripture, that 
there is a hedge of thorns and briars round about 
it, and that only those, who devote themselves to 
the study of specific points, can with any certainty 
ascertain what is true and what is spurious in the 
Bible. And yet notwithstanding these facts — that 
pagan Rome sought to kill the Bible, and papal 
Rome to imprison the Bible, Rationalism to emas- 
culate the Bible, French infidelity to deride the 
Bible, Pantheism to bury the Bible, and this modern 
criticism to remove the Bible to an infinite distance 
from the generality of mankind, — the Bible lives, like 
the Jews. Pharaoh tried to drown them, another 
great king tried to burn them. Haman tried to give 
them up to an ignominious death, but notwithstanding 
all this they live, and so does the Bible live, and not 
merely does it live, but it has never shown so much 
vitality as in the present day. 

Is not the Bible Society a wonderful fact ? A 
great philosopher, many years ago, who was president 
at one of its meetings, gave a very remarkable 
address, in which he showed the importance of the 
Bible Society ; he said that in the Bible Society the 
principles of the Reformation were, as it were, em- 
bodied before all nations — that this book is the 
property of all men, that in the Church of Christ all 
members are in direct communication with God 
Himself, and that it is easy for all to understand 
it. This Bible Society has published more than 
3 1 2,000,000 copies of the Bible and translated it 
into 350 languages, and 70 of these — and this is a 
remarkable fact — languages which at the beginning 
of this century possessed no alphabet, and not the 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND 



slightest vestige of a literature. We can scarcely 
measure the importance of giving to a people letters, 
the possibility of a literature, and, to begin that 
literature, the Book of books. To have done this 
seventy times is a wonderful achievement. While 
the Church of Rome boasts that among all nations 
of the earth she is continually repeating the Mass 
in the dead Latin language which appeals to no 
human heart, evangelical Christianity has gone forth, 
renewing the Pentecostal miracle, and showing the all- 
embracing philanthropy of our great God and Saviour. 

This book is full of interest, whether to enemy 
or friend. Never has the Bible been so minutely 
studied, never has it occupied so much the attention 
of men generally, and never has the desire of Chris- 
tians to be made acquainted with the whole counsel 
of God as embodied in it, been so strong as at this 
day. It is indeed a living book. 

And yet I have only touched, as it were, the 
outside of this great subject. So familiar are we with 
the facts, that it is necessary for us to look them more 
fully in the face in order to impress them on our 
minds. No other book can be compared with this, 
simply as a book. It is an Oriental book, but as Sir 
William Jones pointed out long ago, all the other 
Oriental books, be they ever so poetical, or be they 
ever so wise, in order to be made intelligible and 
palatable to the western mind, require to be trans- 
fused. Many omissions are necessary, and many 
modifications are requisite. How is it that this 
Oriental book has taken possession chiefly of Japhet, 
of the western nations — of England, of Germany, 
of America? How is it that this Oriental book, 
whether taken to Greenland, or to Madagascar, or to 



THE WRITTEN WORD 13 

South Africa, or to the interior of India, is a book 
that appeals to the mind and heart of those that 
hear it. Only last week I read an account of a 
missionary who was reading the ist chapter of 
the epistle to the Romans, in which heathenism is 
described in its effects, and when the chapter was 
finished, a Brahmin who was present went up and 
said " That describes us." He recognised in the words 
the condition of his own nation. To this book 
there is no limitation of race or nationality. It has 
become in all nations a household book, a home 
book, a heart book. Look at the history that it 
has had in the past. We can measure the univers- 
ality of a book by the power it has of being translated 
into other languages. Look at the German Bible. 
The German Bible is the standard of German litera- 
ture. All Germans, whether they be believers or 
unbelievers, Romanists or Protestants, acknowledge 
that Martin Luther, in translating the Bible into 
German, transformed and fixed the German language. 
The German language as it were renewed its youth, 
nay, more than that, it imbibed vivifying and trans- 
figuring elements which it never possessed before. 
Every turn of Luther's Bible, every mode of expres- 
sion is intensely German, out of the very depth of 
the heart of the German nation. Is it not so with 
your English Bible also ? How is it that this 
Hebrew book becomes the most German and the , 
most English of all books ? Because it speaks to 
the heart of humanity. Consider all the minds 
which in the past this book has influenced. Unless 
you examine with this special purpose, — thanks to 
the writings of Milton and Shakespeare and other 
great authors, — you cannot imagine how the Bible 



14 THE ETERNAL WORD AND 

narratives, the Bible truths, the Bible similes, the 
Bible expressions, have entered into the very 
marrow of English literature. You continually find 
terms and expressions which they owe to the Bible. 
And I am sure that all will bear me witness that 
I tell what they themselves have experienced when 
I say that if you have a speech of the most brilliant 
eloquence, or a piece of the most subtle and acute 
reasoning, and, if a Bible passage be quoted, that 
passage in the midst of all that is brilliant will shine 
forth more brilliant still, and will appear deeper than 
all that is profound, and will take hold of men and 
of the affections of men, as nothing else can. 

Consider again the minds which have bowed in 
admiration of this book, — as Leibnitz, Milton, Lord 
Bacon, Pascal, Faraday, Newton, Locke, — metaphysi- 
cians, men of natural science, poets and philosophers 
— not that I wish to adduce this as an argument for 
the truth of the Bible. It was not because these men 
were wise and learned, but because the Holy Ghost 
enlightened them that they saw the truth as it is in 
the Scriptures ; but this fact proves that although 
there are many wise men who reject the Bible, it is 
not their wisdom that forces them to reject it, neither 
is it the wisdom and learning of others that incline 
them to receive it. This book is high above all 
human wisdom or genius, — coming from above with 
its own light and with its own power. 

But I would remind you of another and far 
larger class to whom the Bible has thus endeared 
itself and been its own witness. It is a very strange 
thing that there is no other book in the world 
for children like the Bible. There is a remarkable 
passage in one of the addresses of Huxley, in which 



THE WRITTEN WORD 15 

he says that although he is entirely in favour of secular 
education, yet he is completely at a loss what substi- 
tute to have for the Bible, for there is no other 
book in which the highest, the most sublime and 
purifying thoughts are made so accessible and so 
attractive to the child's mind as the Bible. Professor 
St. Hilaire writes — " I have travelled north and south, 
and east and west, and have been much struck with 
the fact that in all the countries in which the Bible 
is read there is a literature for children and for work- 
ing men, but in those countries in which the Bible is 
not read, as in Italy, or even in France, there is no 
literature for the children or for the poor. Where 
do you find history ? where do you find narratives ? 
where do you find characters ? where do you find 
doctrine ? where do you find poetry — such as the 
Bible presents ? Universal is its language. It is like 
the sun which enlightens all lands." 

Poets especially have acknowledged the suprem- 
acy of the Bible. Goethe, that great representative 
of modern thought, has said, " Let the world pro- 
gress as much as it- likes, let all branches of human 
research develop to the very utmost, nothing will take 
the place of the Bible — that foundation of all culture 
and of all education." 

Look at the style of the Bible, for every book has 
its style. What is the style of the Bible ? The style 
of the Bible is difficult to describe, but every one has 
a distinct idea of it. The simplicity, the perfect 
objective calmness of its narratives, its power, its 
lucidity, its attractiveness, its terseness — every one has 
felt, whether he believes it or not. Where is there in 
the whole realm of literature a narrative like that of 
Abraham taking up Isaac to Mount Moriah, or of 



i6 THE ETERNAL WORD AND 

the raising of Lazarus, or of Joseph making himself 
known to his brethren ? Or take the whole gospels 
in which, not for a single moment, does the enthusiasm 
or feeling of the writers betray itself Did you ever 
think of the 23rd Psalm, — six short verses a com- 
pendium of all human life, — a little nightingale that 
has gone through all the countries of the earth pour- 
ing forth its inimitable melody, thrilling the heart and 
bringing peace and consolation to the soul ? Do you 
think that all the poets in the world if they were 
working for ever so many years, could produce such 
six verses ? How wonderful is that style of the Bible ! 
I will read you what a great artist, one of the 
greatest lyrical poets, has said about the Bible. He 
being a true artist saw what was beautiful in the 
Bible, and because he was a true artist he saw that 
there was an infinite distance between anything that 
art could produce and this book. These are the 
words of Heine, for many years a pantheist, a frivolous 
and pernicious writer, but a man of great genius : 
" What a book ! great and wide as the world, rooted 
in the depths of creation and mounting into the 
mysterious azure of the heavens. Indeed it is God's 
Word, while all other books evince only human skill. 
In the Bible is not a vestige of art. It is impossible 
to criticise its style." This man came very near 
seeing what was the secret of the style of the Bible. 
As nature is above art so is the Bible above other 
literature. When you see an artificial rose you say 
" How clever." When you see a real rose you say, 
" How beautiful ! how fragrant ! " As nature is 
above art, so is inspiration above nature. The man 
of genius is above the commonplace man. He is a 
law to himself. His words, his pictures, his sculpture 



THE WRITTEN WORD 17 

are as it were a creation. But although the difference 
between the man of genius and the ordinary man is 
exceedingly great, it is nothing compared with the 
difference between a man in whom the Holy Ghost 
has kindled His light, and by whom the Spirit of the 
Most High is speaking, and the greatest and most 
brilliant genius. It is the voice of God but yet a 
human voice which speaks to us in this Word ; and all, 
whether they believe or not, must say " Never man 
spake like this man " : " Never book was written like 
this book," 

Let us pass now from the form to the substance 
of the Bible. There is no other book in the world 
so interesting to man as man, as the Bible. What is 
new ? What is old ? People often make great mis- 
takes in not distinguishing between modern and new, 
for there are many modern things, which have been 
buried thousands of times already and are only 
walking about like ghosts, having no blood and life 
in them ; whereas there are old things that are full 
of life, because they are eternal. In many branches 
of knowledge, there is progress. Fact is discovered 
after fact and experience comes after experience, 
and so by degrees stone is laid upon stone and the 
great edifice is reared. But in the things which 
interest us most deeply there is no progress. The 
questions which were asked in the days of Job are 
the same questions which are asked now, and, apart 
from revelation, man has not advanced one single 
step towards answering these questions. We know 
with the utmost certainty that the three angles of a 
triangle are together equal to two right angles, and 
there can be no doubt about the calculations of 
astronomy as to the heavenly bodies, — but of what 

c 



THE ETERNAL WORD AND 



use is such knowledge to man woman and child, in 
affliction and in death ? But the Bible contains 
those things which concern our inmost spiritual and 
everlasting life ; and, therefore, no matter what turn 
history may take, no matter what development 
science may have, the intense interest and youth of 
the Bible will remain, throughout all ages, the same. 
There is a story told of one of the generals of 
Frederick the Great. This general was a true 
believer in Scripture, and Frederick the Great often 
addressed questions to him, partly to annoy him, and 
partly to elicit some answer. He said to him one 
day, " Now tell me, why do you always revert to the 
Bible ? " and General Schmidtt gave him this answer, 
which I think a most beautiful answer, " Because the 
Bible reveals to me a Father who numbers the 
very hairs of my head ; because the Bible reveals to 
me a Saviour who by his blood expiates every one 
of my sins ; and because the Bible shows unto me 
a heaven where I am to spend an everlasting and 
blessed existence." 

And now I shall read you the testimony of a 
German pantheist, the celebrated Strauss, who did 
not believe in a personal God, and who during his 
last illness said to his friends : " I am just going out 
like a flickering candle that is burned down." In 
one of his latest books he said, in order to account 
for the power of Christianity : *' The misery, caused 
by the consciousness of our faults and the reproaches 
of conscience, is relieved by Christianity. Through 
its doctrine of an expiatory atonement, the desolate 
feeling, that we are the victims of blind chance, van- 
ishes before the sheltering arms of Providence, and 
the darkness of the gloomy night of our earthly life 



THE WRITTEN WORD 19 

is illuminated by the prospect of an immortal and 
heavenly blessedness." Just what the Christian had 
said from his experience, and stated as a fact de- 
rived from the Bible, this man sees to be just that 
which meets the requirements of the human heart 
and conscience, and sees that it is provided by 
Christianity. There is no peace without a Father 
who loves us and cares for us, a Saviour who has 
taken away the burden from our conscience, and a 
hope of everlasting blessedness, which is a hope that 
" maketh not ashamed." 

I shall conclude by saying a few words about 
Jesus ; and while I speak of Jesus, think of the Bible 
parallel. Jesus, — born at Bethlehem, brought up at 
Nazareth, never at the colleges of the learned, re- 
jected by the Pharisees, derided by the Sadducees, 
crucified, dead, and buried, — lives. The mothers 
bring their little babes to Him. Children sing to 
Him " Hosanna ! " An innumerable multitude of 
weary and heavy-laden ones hear His voice, " Come 
unto Me." And the chosen of God confess, " Thou 
art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Unto 
whom shall we go ? Thou hast the words of eternal 
life." Amen. 



II 

A BOOK REVELATION AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 

A book revelation an intrinsic necessity — Sir Walter Scott's one book — 
View of French sceptics — Why persecuted at all — Because it claims 
divine authority — Testimony of friends — Contrasted with other 
books — Need of a revelation — Kant's testimony to the gospels as 
above reason— Hegel's dying testimony — Six great realities revealed 
onlyin the Bible: i. God — fully and tenderly revealed ; metaphysical 
knowledge of God impossible ; the religion of the Old Testament 
not monotheism but Jehovahism : 2. Man — creation a revelation 
only of Scripture ; so also the position of man on the earth ; and the 
great future of redeemed man : 3. Grace — unknown to the world ; 
but through the whole Scripture, the golden thread of grace, and the 
scarlet thread of atonement : 4. Incarnation — no resemblance to 
grotesque fancies of heathenism ; the Mediator rooted in the very 
centre of humanity and very centre of Godhead ; this foreshadowed 
clearly in Moses and the prophets : 5. Morality — Bible morality 
totally different from that of mere ethics ; founded on personal 
love : 6. God's kingdom — not an abstraction, but a reality ; God 
the King ; Christ the Vicegerent ; Satan Ilis adversary; mankind 
the centre ; the earth the territory ; Israel the centre of mankind 
— The Bible, with its history, laws, poetry, maxims, biographies, 
epistles, everything in it, is the Word of God, not contains the 
Word of God. 

The subject which is to occupy us this morning, 
and if it please God also on the next occasion, is the 
following : The Bible is the Word of God. 

I wish to dwell more specially to-day on the 
Bible as a revelation from God, and to consider in 



A BOOK REVELATION AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 21 

my next lecture the human, historical, and progress- 
ive aspect of Scripture in relation to Christ and the 
Spirit of God. 

A divine revelation embodied in a book is not 
unworthy of God, and it is according to divine wis- 
dom and love, that God, who revealed Himself in 
acts and in words to the fathers by prophets and 
apostles, should have caused the whole revelation to 
be committed to writing in order that all future 
generations might possess it in a form — secure, com- 
plete, correct, and easy of access. 

A book revelation is an intrinsic necessity. In 
no other way could the divine purposes of love have 
been secured, and, as we have already shown, this 
book has made a deep impression upon mankind, so 
that among all the books of the world it stands out 
pre-eminent — even as Jesus Christ stands out pre- 
eminent among all the children of men. 

A few days before his death, when Sir Walter 
Scott was in his library, he said to his son-in-law, 
" Will you read something to me ? " and when asked 
what book, his immediate reply was, " You need 
not ask. There is only one book." A few years 
ago, as a French pastor tells us, there was a meet- 
ing of a number of literary and scientific men, 
some of whom were sceptics and materialists, and 
in the course of conversation the question arose : — 
If we were banished to a lonely island, or if wc 
had to suffer imprisonment for a lifetime, what book, 
from among all the books of which human literature 
consists, would be chosen to be our sole companion ? 
and the unanimous answer was, " the Bible." 

This book which in the wonderful providence of 
God arose gradually, the art of writing being known 



J BOOK REVELATION 



to the children of Israel at least as early as the days 
of Moses, and which afterwards, through its transla- 
tion into the Greek language, found its way to all 
nations, is, now as ever, after having contended against 
all persecution and opposition, a book unique in 
its vitality, in its attractiveness, in its interest, and in 
its power. Greek literature stands out above the 
literature of all other nations, and all agree in 
acknowledging its brilliancy and power ; but it does 
not reach the heart of man, for it does not breathe the 
atmosphere of eternity ; it does not reach the deep 
things of the human soul ; whereas Hebrew, a much 
poorer and barer language, planting itself before the 
very sanctuary of human consciousness, has taken 
hold of the hearts and souls of all races and families 
of the earth. Yet, while dwelling on this, and on 
the peculiar, powerful, and attractive style of Scrip- 
ture, we were after all only in the outer court. It 
is as when standing before a beautiful and glorious 
cathedral where, at the very outset, the gates attract 
our attention and offer to us many interesting points 
of observation, but the real beauty and glory can 
only be seen when we pass on, — within. Or, it is like 
standing before a garden where there is a hedge 
which does not altogether prevent us from seeing 
what is beyond. Through the gaps in the hedge you 
can get glimpses of some of the lovely flowers and 
perceive the fragrance of others, yet you cannot 
really see the beauty of the garden till you enter it 
and stand within. 

Yet the attractiveness of the Bible, its unique 
style, the hold it takes upon the human heart — none 
of these would have existed if the Bible had been 
only human. It is because it stands above mankind 



AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 



that it dwells within mankind ; and who is He that 
inhabits the high and holy place, and yet dwells in 
the human heart, but God the Lord ; — and as God is, 
so is His Word. 

I shall speak now of Scripture as it is regarded 
by the friends of Scripture. As I reminded you that, 
whilst, in regard to Jesus, it was acknowledged that 
no man ever spake like this man by those that 
were strangers to His grace, there was also an 
inmost circle of His disciples who believed and 
were sure that He was the Son of God, so is it 
also in regard to the Scriptures. The Scriptures 
might say to those who persecute them, " Many 
good works have I done among you. For which 
of these good works do ye persecute me ? " And 
the answer of men would be, " For a good work we 
persecute thee not, but because thou, being a book 
like other books, claimest to be a divine book." But 
the testimony of the intimate friends of the Bible is 
that Scripture is the Word of God. 

It may be said that the testimony of friends is not 
of decisive value, and yet, after all, who but a friend 
can witness effectively ? The witness of enemies 
is negative. So it was in the case of Jesus. Judas 
said, " I have shed innocent blood." Pilate said, " I 
find no fault in Him." The Pharisees were unable to 
bring any accusation against Him, or to convince Him 
of sin ; but it was only the apostles who were able 
to testify of the person of Jesus ; and remarkable it is, 
that that disciple who was most intimately acquainted 
with the humanity of our blessed Saviour — he who 
leant on the bosom of Jesus — was the disciple who 
most emphatically testified that they had beheld the 
glory as of the only begotten of the Father. And 



24 A BOOK REVELATION 

the testimony of the friends of the Bible is of great 
importance when we remember this — that the friends 
of the Bible were not born friends of the Bible — 
were once strangers to the Word, and enemies of the 
Word ; but that there was given to them light from 
above, and a conviction which nothing in this world 
can shake. Another peculiarity about the friends of 
the Bible is this — that every one of them is an inde- 
pendent witness. Every one of them can say like the 
men of Samaria, " Now we believe the Bible, not 
because we have been so taught from our infancy 
. . . nor because of the testimony of the Church and 
its ministers ; but because we have seen it ourselves, 
and heard its voice, and are convinced that it is the 
Word of God. For that light, which shines into every 
one that believes, is the same light which shone in 
those who knew Him, and now shines in the original 
testimony of those who bore witness unto Him, — 
that wc may believe that this is indeed the Christ, 
the Son of God, and that believing we may have 
life through His name." 

Thus, when the whole world acknowledges the 
peculiarity of the book, and when we know the 
reason of that peculiarity, we contrast it with all 
other books. All other books are ephemeral — simply 
pamphlets which come and go. This is for all 
ages. Others address themselves to a limited sphere 
of mankind whether of race, or of learning, or of class. 
This speaks to all mankind. Others, in the course 
of centuries, are exhausted and all that is valuable 
in them is absorbed. This book is inexhaustible. 
The mine is deep, the more we search, the more are 
there brought out treasures of gold and silver from 
its hidden depths. Other books contain errors, which 



AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 25 

have to be refuted, and imperfections which have to 
be supplemented. This book is Hke gold tried in 
the fire. And not merely is it free from error, but it 
contains in itself a rectifying power which is able to 
cope with every error and heresy, as it arises in the 
history of mankind ; and this, because it is God's 
book. 

A revelation from God. Do we require a revela- 
tion from God ? The wonderful gift of reason, that 
beautiful light and noble instrument with which God 
Himself has endowed us, is indeed most precious, but 
it is the lesser light. It is to shine in the realm of 
this world, and has to do with the things of time. 
It is capable of receiving light from above. It is not 
light creative, but light receptive. Two very powerful 
testimonies have been given to this by men who are 
acknowledged in modern times to be stars of the first 
magnitude in the horizon of philosophy. The one was 
Kant, a man of the most subtle analysis. He wrote 
thus to a friend. The extract has not been published 
in any of his biographies, but was mentioned,, recently, 
in an Augsburg paper. He said, " You do well in 
that you base your peace and piety on the gospels, 
for in the gospels, and in the gospels alone, is the 
source of deep spiritual truths, after reason has 
measured out its whole territory in vain." And 
another great leader of thought, the pantheistic 
metaphysician Hegel, on his death-bed, would have 
no book read to him but the Bible ; and said that if 
God were to prolong his life he would make this 
book his study, for in it he found what mere reason 
could not discover. His favourite hymn during those 
dying days was a German hymn of which the bearing 
is, "Jesus, draw me entirely unto thyself" 



26 A BOOK REVELATION 

PVom above there comes revelation. " Eye hath 
not seen " — observation cannot discover — " ear hath 
not heard " — tradition and the learning of the past 
ages cannot transmit — " neither hath entered the 
heart of man" — genius and intuition cannot find 
out — "what God hath prepared for them that 
love Him, but unto us He hath revealed it by His 
Spirit." 

Now, of those things that are revealed to us by 
the Spirit of God, and which are contained in the 
Scriptures, from Genesis even to the culminating book 
of the Apocalypse, I wish now to speak to you ; and 
I single out six great things — I do not like to call 
them ideas, because they are realities — which have 
been revealed to us in the Bible. 

The first is God. The world in its ignorance and 
folly knows not God. The world in its wisdom 
knows not God. The world in its sinfulness knows 
not God. The world in its virtue, Pharisaic and 
stoical, knows not God. Nature does not reveal 
God. Nature, when it pleases God through it to 
speak to the heart, reveals the existence, the power, 
the goodness, and the wisdom of God ; but nature 
does not reveal God Himself Polytheism did not 
know the one God, but only an abstract, a supreme 
force or reason. Atheism denies God. Pantheism 
degrades God. Positivism ignores God. Scripture 
reveals God. The idea of God that Scripture gives 
to us is so majestic, and yet so heart-winning, is so 
sublime and yet so simple, is so full of variety and 
apparent contradictions, and yet so united, that all 
those who, by the grace of God, have learnt from the 
Scripture, feel and are convinced that God has re- 
vealed Himself to them. Infinite and incomprehens- 



AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 27 

ible, dwelling in light that is unapproachable, — He yet 
condescends to make Himself known to the children 
of men, even to babes. Eternal and omnipresent, 
He lives with us from day to day, and is the 
home and sanctuary of His people, in all genera- 
tions, holy, so that He chargeth even the angels 
with folly, and yet the Redeemer and Saviour of 
sinners, just, and the justifier of the guilty, terrible in 
His majesty and in His judgment, tender and com- 
passionate, merciful, patient, and long-suffering, in- 
finitely blessed in Himself, and needing nothing 
external for His life and for His joy, — and yet weep- 
ing over Jerusalem and sighing over His sinful nation ; 
stretching forth His hands against a gainsaying people, 
and, again, calling heaven and earth to sympathise with 
Him, all fields and all trees to rejoice with Him, be- 
cause He has found the one that was lost, and has 
quickened him that was dead ; revealing Himself to 
us, and making known to us His secret thoughts ; 
and yet, after all His revelations, we say, " Who is 
like unto God? Oh, the depth of the riches." He 
tells Israel that they must make themselves no image 
of God, for they have at no time seen any form or 
similitude of Him. But He Himself speaks to Israel 
in such a concrete way. He has eyes, and He sees ; 
He has ears, and He listens to the voice of our suppli- 
cation. The sacrifice of Noah ascends unto Him, and 
He smells a sweet savour. He has hands, and they 
are stretched forth to rescue the perishing people. 
He arises and awakes and rouses Himself out of His 
sleep, and hastens to deliver the godly. He re- 
members His promises of old. He sometimes forgets 
to be gracious and to hear. It repents Him that He 
has ever created man ; and then He rejoices as if 



28 A BOOK REVELATION 

there were no joy for Him except in the salvation and 
in the blessedness of His people. Who would ever 
venture to speak thus of God ? But, Scripture speak- 
ing thus of God, there is no danger of the simplest 
human being misunderstanding it. The spirituality 
of our human God far transcends all the ethereal 
speculation of human wisdom. He compares Himself 
to a father : " As a father pitieth his children." 
He compares Himself to a mother that is not able to 
forget her child. He compares Himself to a bride- 
groom that rejoices over his bride. He speaks of 
Himself as a friend who cannot do anything, unless 
He communicates it first to His chosen ones. Oh, 
when the Bible brings us God revealing Himself, it 
is no abstraction ; it is no philosophy : it is full of 
life and full of love and enters into the very inmost 
heart of man. There is nothing so sublime, and 
there is nothing so pathetic. 

But we must go still deeper into this subject. 
God reveals Himself. Knowledge of God in the 
sense in which metaphysicians take it, God denies to 
be possible for human beings. As metaphysicians 
speak of the being of God, of the essence of God, of 
the substance of God, and the necessity of God's exist- 
ence, it is impossible for us to understand such things. 
Neither man nor angel can comprehend God, or 
possess an intellectual knowledge of God, as of some- 
thing that he is able to estimate. There was no 
light in the Holy of Holies, for, " I the Lord dwell 
in darkness ; " and none can know God. But God 
reveals Himself as He wishes to reveal Himself, not to 
the intellect only, but to the whole man. Where 
mind and will meet, in their central unity in the heart, 
there it is that God makes Himself known by the 



AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 29 

Scriptures. " The fool hath said in his heart there 
is no God," and only the fool thinks that he can 
know God as a philosophical study. Both reason 
and will combine in the heart ; and the children of 
God with the heart believe that God has sj^okcn to 
them. And therefore you will never find in the 
Scripture the idea of God or the substance of God — 
none of those metaphysical, highflown abstractions 
and impossibilities ; but the Scripture speaks of the 
dear face of God. That is all we want. We want 
to see His face. That is all we want of father and 
mother, and wife and child. And the Scripture 
speaks of the name of God. That is the aspect of 
God manwards, and therefore you must never, when 
you read the Bible and when you read God, think 
that the God that is mentioned there is the God of 
whom the world speaks — that abstraction, that idea, 
that power, that heaven, that " providence." Oh no, 
it is Jehovah ; it is Christ ; it is God in His aspect 
towards us. This, He has revealed to us. Therefore 
it is a great mistake to say that the religion of the 
Old Testament is monotheism. The religion of 
the Turks is monotheism. The religion of the Old 
Testament is Jehovahism. We are taught that this 
Jehovah, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who 
brought us out of Egypt and led us into the land 
of Canaan, is the God, and also that Jesus Christ 
is the true God, and everlasting life. For God (as 
we have no better name for it) is person. Do you 
know what is implied in being a person ? We are 
but of yesterday. A few years ago we had no 
existence. By degrees we become self-conscious 
and distinguish ourselves from all other human 
beings, and from all the things that are around us. 



30 A BOOK REVELATION 

Only by degrees and imperfectly do we find out 
what we are, what is within us, our thoughts, our 
will, our character, our reason, our emotions ; but 
never, at any given moment of our earthly life, are we 
in full consciousness of our own individuality. Never 
in any given moment of our life do we see all that 
is within us and all the thoughts and experiences of 
our past ; and, continually, do we feel that there are 
influences from without, and that there are dark 
things within, which interfere with our individuality, 
and do not belong to us. But now rise for a moment 
to a different and eternal sphere. Think of Him 
who is from everlasting to everlasting, who, before 
any of the worlds were created by His will, said, " I," 
who is always conscious of His thoughts, and of His 
purposes, and of the perfections and attributes which 
are in Him. Therefore does God continually call 
Himself, " I." " I am." " I am the Lord." " Then 
shall ye know that I am he ; " and in the New 
Testament " Be not afraid ; it is I ; " " Unless you 
believe that I am he ; " down to the last chapter of 
the book of Revelation, where He says, " I, Jesus." 
Now of this one — that is " I " the only one of whom 
we can say in perfection that He is a person, — will 
you not admit of Him what you have to admit of the 
youngest child and of the most limited human being, 
that, unless He chooses to tell you His thoughts 
and His will, you cannot know them ? You may guess 
them, but you cannot know them. He speaks. 
And if God is person, will you not allow to that 
person the right which you claim for yourself? 
There are some to whom you open yourself, and 
there arc others to whom you cannot open yourself 
" How is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, 



A .V IN TRINSIC NE CESS I TV 31 

and not unto the world ? " " The secret of the Lord 
is with them that fear him." " The father and I 
will come." God as a person, in His sovereignty 
and of His abundant love, reveals Himself. 

But I must pass on now to the second fact — 
Man. Apart from Scripture we do not know that 
the world was created by God. The wisest Greeks 
and Romans did not know it. No cosmography 
has ever been discovered in which there is the 
slightest trace of the idea that God created the 
heavens and the earth. Matter was considered to 
have existed from eternity. A speculation, which has 
been again revived in our own days, spoke of atoms 
out of which by degrees the present cosmos was 
shaped. If God had wished to state at the beginning 
of Scripture, " Now I begin to speak, and here ends 
all human wisdom, and where human wisdom ends 
revelation begins," — if God had wished, as it were, 
to place a barrier to separate His book from all the 
books of the world. He could not have done it better 
and more effectively than He has done it, by de- 
claring " In the beginning God created the heavens 
and the earth." That single sentence separates 
Scripture from all the rest of human wisdom and 
productions ; and the creation of man in the image 
of God, with majesty and solemnity, the whole 
Godhead as it v/ere retreating into the depth of its 
wisdom, and of its love, and saying, as it had never 
said before, " Let us make man in our image," — 
only Scripture reveals. And the fall and sinfulness 
of man Scripture reveals. It shows man his guilt, 
without degrading him, like the cynics. It shows 
man his misery, without driving him to despair. It 
shows man his exaltation, and yet ascribes all the 



32 A BOOK REVELAl^ION 

glory and honour to God. Instead of dwelling on 
speculations as to the pre -Adamite man, why 
will not the men of science tell us what the post- 
Adamite man will be — the future man ? Scripture 
tells us what the deutero- Adamites will be — the future 
of humanity, when Christ shall appear, and when 
they who are Christ's shall be made manifest ; and 
as we have borne the image of the earthly Adam, 
so we shall bear the image of the heavenly — not 
through any evolution, but by the renewing of the 
Holy Ghost, and by the resurrection power of the 
great Son of God. Scripture reveals to us — 
man. 
/ The third thing that the Bible reveals is — Grace. 
The world does not know what grace is. Grace is 
not pity ; grace is not indulgence or leniency ; grace 
is not long-suffering. Grace is as infinite an attribute 
of God as is His power, and as is His wisdom. 
Grace manifests itself in righteousness. Grace has a 
righteousness which is based upon atonement or sub- 
stitution, and through the whole Scripture there run 
the golden thread of grace, and the scarlet thread of 
atonement, which together reveal to us for man a 
righteousness that comes down from heaven. 

Here is the great difference between the Bible 
and all religions of the world — that, whereas man 
tries to make himself more worthy of the Deity, the 
Bible declares to us that we begin with perfection of 
righteousness, — even the best robe descending down 
to us through the love of the Father and the atoning 
death of our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I pass on to the fourth idea — Incarnation ! Some 
people have spoken as if the Hindoos and the Bud- 
dhists have also the idea of incarnation. Very few 



AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 33 

words are required to completely demolish this asser- 
tion. In the Hindoo theology we read of avatars 
or gods assuming monstrous and multiform appear- 
ances for a definite purpose — as of rewarding a 
favourite, or of bringing justice and vengeance on an 
enemy. But to the fact of incarnation, as it is 
revealed to us in Christ, these grotesque fancies have 
not the slightest resemblance ; and as for Buddhism, 
it cannot teach incarnation, because it is atheism, 
and does not believe in God at all, and therefore 
those Buddhs that appear from time to time are 
simply men of great wisdom and virtue who, after 
teaching for a certain number of years, vanish again 
into what they consider to be the greatest blessed- 
ness — non-existence. But what is revealed to us in 
Scripture ? That the Word was made flesh, and 
dwelt among us, that God was manifest in the flesh, 
that the Son of God took upon Him our nature, and 
was born of a woman, and that this wonderful per- 
son, — eternal, and appearing in time, — infinite, and 
clothing Himself with humanity, — is Son of God and 
yet true man, two natures in one person, and that 
He is to be such for ever and for ever. And that as 
truly as the Son of God lived here, and died upon 
the cross, so truly is the Son of Man now sitting at 
the right hand of the Majesty ; and that such a 
glorious being is now the Mediator rooted in the 
very centre of humanity, and rooted in the very 
centre of the Godhead — oh, what a wonderful reve- 
lation is this. And in Scripture this is asserted not 
merely in the gospels and in the epistles ; — but from 
the beginning of Genesis, through the whole of 
the Old Testament, there runs the announcement, 
there runs the preparation — there is the instalment,^ 

I) 



34 A BOOK RE VELA TION 

SO to speak, of this great fact, there is the angel of 
His presence in whom is the name of God, as in the 
marvellous vision that appeared to Isaiah when he 
saw also the glory of Christ, as he beheld the Lord 
sitting on a throne high and lifted up. 

I come to the fifth point. Nowadays people are 
always talking about morality, about ethics. Oh, 
they do not want dogma, they want ethics. Even 
into our pulpits this unscriptural word has forced its 
way. Let me assure you that if an idea cannot be 
clothed in Scripture words, you may be sure that 
this idea has departed from Scripture truth and 
fulness. What is there so great and noble in the 
words " morality," " ethics," or as the Germans call 
it, sittlicJikeit. They all mean the same thing — 
custom. Ethos, customs ; Diores, manners. Sittlich- 
keit is that which is become the habit, or, in other 
words, the highest idea that man has of rectitude, 
character, and conduct. It is very noble, it is very 
good, it is very great, but after all it does not rise 
above the level of humanity. Not so with the 
Bible. An ancient Jewish teacher made this re- 
mark : " There arc several hundreds of precepts, 
there are several hundreds of prohibitions in the 
Scripture, but all these hundreds (I think about six 
hundred) may be reduced to ten — the ten words 
which God spoke ; and these ten words may be 
reduced to two- — -love to God, and in God, love 
to your neighbour; and these two may be reduced 
to one, ' the just shall live by faith.' " He was not 
far from the kingdom of God. The Bible speaks 
not of morality, but the Bible says, " Enoch walked 
with God." God appeared to Abraham and said, " I 
am thy God. Walk thou before me and be perfect." 



AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 35 

And what are the ten commandments ? They 
are not founded on an abstract idea, not upon what 
the Greek calls the good, the true, the beautiful. 
" God spoke these words and said, I am the Lord 
thy God which brought thee out of the land of 
Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt 
have no other gods beside me." And in each of 
the first five commandments it is, " The Lord thy 
God." 

The Bible enters into all the details of human 
life. The Bible goes into small minutiae of our con- 
duct and of our circumstances, but upon each of 
the Bible commands is written, " I am the Lord." 
" Thou shalt put no stumbling-block in the way of 
the blind." I am the Lord — identified with this 
blind man. And Jesus says to us in that Sermon 
on the Mount that is so much admired for its 
morality — but morality is not there — something 
much higher than morality and inclusive of moral- 
ity, " As your Father which is in heaven is perfect ; " 
and then He says not merely that, but " Abide in 
me and I in you, for without me ye can do nothing." 
And then a man like the apostle Paul says, " To me 
to live is Christ." Where are the ethics now ? That 
person the object of my life, the joy of my life, the 
source of my life, nay, the very life of my com- 
munion with God, our Wisdom says, "I am man" 
— "Homo sum" — and everything that is human 
interests me. The Bible wants to make us men of 
God. 

And, lastly, the Bible gives to us a revelation 
of God's kingdom, and by " kingdom " do not 
understand an abstraction of principles, the pre- 
valence of ideas, not even the acceptance of Chris- 



36 A BOOK REVELATION 

tianity. That is not meant by the kingdom of 
God. The kingdom of God means the kingdom of 
God — God the King, Christ his vice-regent, Satan 
his adversary, mankind the centre, the earth the 
territory, Israel the centre of the nations, the trans- 
figured Church with Christ the Son of Man come 
down to reign on the earth. We are waiting for the 
kingdom when He who first came out of Bethlehem 
shall come down from heaven. His saints with 
Him, and Israel converted unto Him, and all the 
nations of the earth walking in the light of God, when 
His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
This promise, this hope, is traceable from the very 
first promise about the seed of the woman that 
should bruise the head of the serpent, to the 20th 
chapter of the book of Revelation when that very 
serpent is mentioned again — how he shall be bound, 
and Christ shall gain the victory. 

And now when I bring before you these things 
which no human reason could ever have invented, 
which no human ingenuity could ever have discovered, 
and which, even after they are revealed to us, must be 
made clear to us by the Holy Ghost, remember that 
they are not stated in Scripture in a systematic and 
methodical form ; — but in a method far more wonderful 
and convincing. Just as in nature there is the most 
harmonious irregularity — not like a systematic and 
botanical garden — ^just as in nature all the different 
powers co-exist and work together in a way which 
we are not able to understand, light and gravitation 
and electricity and all that God has caused to exist 
in order to uphold the universe — so is it in the 
Scriptures that from beginning to end at sundry 
times and in divers manners by gradual manifestations, 



AN INTRINSIC NECESSITY 



acts, miracles, words, commandments, institutions, 
God has unfolded His whole counsel. 

Now in conclusion I will say only this. The 
Bible from beginning to end ascribes glory to God. 
He is the first and He is the last. He is the 
beginning and He is the ending. " Glory to God in 
the highest." That is written upon every page of 
Scripture. Of Him and through Him and to Him 
are all things. It is the Word of God. 

I do not say that the Bible contains the Word of 
God. I say that the Bible is the Word of God. I 
think it a most erroneous and dangerous thing to 
say that the Bible contains the Word of God. The 
Bible with its history, with its laws, with its poetry, i 
with its maxims, with its biographies, with its epistles, 
with everything that is in it, is the Word of God. I 
wish to notice the human element, the individuality 
of the men who wrote, the gradual growth, the pro- 
gressive manifestations of Scripture, in connection 
with the person of Christ and the work of the Holy 
Ghost. May the children of God remember me in 
prayer that the Lord's blessing may be with us. 



Ill 



THE RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 
ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 

The Bible is the Word of God — Pascal's statement in regard to it — The 
relation which the human, historical, and progressive elements of 
the Biljle have to the fact that it is the Word of God — God's acts 
have priority, not only in time, but also in causality— He prepared 
a nation for the coming of the Deliverer : I. By creating through the 
law the feeling of the need of a Saviour : 2. By showing through the 
types, etc., the way of expiation and of approach to God: 3. By 
pre-figuring Christ by living men and also by things, as the 
brazen serpent — A drama, not a monologue — Israel responds 
either in faith or unbelief — Long pauses in direct miraculous inter- 
ference — The historical books from Joshua to Chronicles called by 
Jews the Former Prophets — In the histories there is shown the very 
heart of man, the inner motives — Absolute judgment pronounced 
on men — Wickedness described, not to attract, but, in its naked 
hideousness, to repel — The Bible written by men for men — Their 
individuality and circumstances clearly seen — The Scripture shows 
us the humanity of the writers, in the very act of their being in- 
spired and receiving the Word of God from above — The books of 
Moses plainly the foundation of the Psalms, etc. — The prophets 
found on those before them — The growth of the Bible — Christ's 
double relation to the Scriptures. 

I CONTINUE my subject this morning — Scripture is 
the Word of God. In my last address I spoke to 
you chiefly of Scripture as a divine revelation. Revela- 
tion descends from above. It speaks to us out of 
the fulness of divine omniscience. It reveals to us 
spiritual and heavenly realities. It unveils to us a 



RELATION OF HUMAN ELEMENTS TO DIVINE 39 

world which we never could have discovered by our 
own research. Here there is not a steep and laborious 
ascent which reason attempts. Here there is not the 
bold flight of genius, intuition, or imagination. Here 
the things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
neither have entered the heart of man, the things of 
God which God freely gives to those that believe, 
are unveiled to us by the Spirit of God who searcheth 
the deep things of God. It is on account of the 
things which are revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures 
that the children of God recognise in Scripture the 
Word of the Most High. Here, as we saw, there is 
revealed to us the true and living God, as Pascal 
wrote upon the memorial that he always carried 
about with him — not the God of the philosophers, 
of the wise, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, whom Athens did not know, whom Samaria 
did not understand, the true and living God Jehovah. 
He reveals Himself in this Word, and we know Him 
— that God is light, that God is love, that God is 
Father, Son, and Spirit. Plere is revealed to us 
what no human wisdom could discover — creation, 
and, without the knowledge of creation, man not 
merely walks in ignorance and in blindness, but he 
walks also in bondage and in servitude, as if there was 
a blind force and fate surrounding him on every side. 
Here is revealed to us the origin of man, the condition 
of man, and the glorious prospect which God in His 
wonderful love has put before us. Here the great 
mystery is disclosed as we find it in no other 
nation, and in no other book of literature — divine 
grace through righteousness, by a sacrifice bringing 
to us the salvation of God in all fulness, not as 
the heathen nations dreamt of a sacrifice by which 



40 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

they had to appease the gods, — but a sacrifice which 
God makes, suffering in the person of Mis own Son, — 
not as the heathen imagined sacrifices, services, self- 
denials, which gradually and slowly may lead to the 
goal of the acceptance of the Deity, — but, beginning 
from the very beginning, with the love of God and 
our full acceptance in Christ. Here is that wonder- 
ful mystery of godliness, the incarnation, of which 
there is no trace to be found anywhere else — that 
God was manifest in the flesh, and that the Son of 
God became man, to be man for ever and ever, the 
true Mediator between God and man. We have 
here the new life of God having communion with 
us, and here the idea of the kingdom of God, 
inward and spiritual, outward and manifested, having 
for its two agents the nation of Israel and the 
Church of Christ, and waiting yet to be revealed at 
the second appearing of our great God and Saviour. 
It is because we have found these things in the 
Holy Scriptures, and because the Spirit of God has 
made these things clear to our minds and our hearts, 
that we find in the whole Scripture, large, capacious, 
varied as it is, one spirit which pervades it, one light 
which illumines it, one hope which animates it, and 
that wc hear in it the voice of one, even of that 
Eternal One who, having in His own mind purposed 
in Himself the great plan of our salvation and of 
His glory, has spoken to us and caused it to be 
written for our instruction. 

But now I must look more particularly at the 
book in its various parts, and see the relation which 
the human, historical, and progressive elements of 
that book have to the fiict that it is the Word 
of God. 



ELEMEN'J'S TO THE DIVINE 41 

The truths of which I have spoken are not put 
before us in the Scripture in a systematic and 
methodical form, so that doctrine succeeds doctrine, 
and that the facts and the promises of God are 
arranged for our learning. There is in Scripture, as 
I said before, the same harmonious irregularity as 
there is in nature. Above all, Scripture shows to us 
a history in which God Himself was the great agent. 
He takes the initiative. His acts have priority not 
merely in time but also in causality. After the fall 
of man God begins, by giving His promise, and after 
the three great catastrophes or judgments — the 
expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the judgment of 
the Flood in the days of Noah, and the dispersion of 
the human race at the Tower of Babel, — there begins, 
in the call of Abraham, the golden history of elec- 
tion and grace which does not end until the appearing 
of Jesus Christ, and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, 
and concludes, when the apostle Paul had become 
preacher of the Gospel, not in Jerusalem only, but in 
Rome also. God chooses Abraham and delivers 
Israel out of Egypt. God guides Israel through the 
wilderness, and brings them into the promised land, 
and raises up unto them judge after judge, and 
chooses David from the sheepfold, and allows Israel to 
go into captivity, and brings them back again through 
the instrumentality of His servant Cyrus, and sends 
the angel to Zachariah and to Joseph. God sends 
His own Son. God sends the Spirit. A series of 
acts direct from God Himself. As God acts, so He 
speaks. There is interference of God in action, inter- 
ference of God in revelation and oracle. He gives 
His message to His servants the prophets. He gives 
His law and embodies His thoughts and His pur- 



42 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

poses in institutions. Through Moses His servant 
He gives promise after promise, through a long series 
of history, for Christ did not come immediately after 
the fall, or immediately after the birth of Isaac, 
Christ came " in the fulness of time." Century upon 
century had elapsed ; and in this history the great 
thing that God did was that He prepared a nation, 
Israel, out of which Jesus was to come. " Out of 
Egypt have I called my Son." He prepared this 
nation which was not better than any other nation, 
but which He had chosen in His sovereignty, first by 
creating within them, through the law, the feeling of 
the need of a Saviour ; secondly, by showing to 
them through that very law, with its types and 
appointments and institutions, the way of expiation, 
and the way of approach to God. But not merely 
did He prepare the nation by the law for the coming 
of Christ, both negatively and positively, but He 
pre-figurcd Christ by living men, — by Abel, by Isaac, 
by Moses, by David ; and not merely by living men, 
but also by things, like the brazen serpent, and the 
various types which we behold in the tabernacle. 
And those men whom He sent to Israel pre-figured 
Christ by that in which they resembled Christ ; and 
they also pre-figurcd Christ by that which it was 
impossible for them to give to Israel — which only 
Christ could give, so that both their excellences and 
their deficiencies are like arms stretched forth in 
intense longing for the advent of Him who was the 
Only One — that was to come. 

And not only was this done in the history of 
Israel and in the words which God had sent to 
Israel from time to time, but the nation itself had to 
be prepared not merely for the first advent of Christ, 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 43 

but also for the second advent of Christ ; so that 
everything that is told us of the nation of Israel, 
which to many of us appears to be uninteresting and 
unimportant, the genealogies of Israel, the different 
statements that are made about the different localities, 
and all the minute prophesy which speaks of their 
restoration to their own land and their condition in 
those days, are a necessary part of the Word of God 
which will be seen in all its clearness and in all its 
fulness, when that blessed time arrives. •^ 

But some one may think, " here all is divine. 
God acts mostly in miracles. God speaks by visions, 
and by direct revelation. God gives a pattern of 
the tabernacle which Moses was to rear, showing it to 
him on the Mount. All is of God, divine, super- 
natural, miraculous." But if we thus concluded, we 
should have an altogether erroneous impression. It 
is a drama, and not a monologue. Israel responds. 
Israel replies either in faith, or in unbelief, either in 
obedience, or in disobedience, — either by going the 
path that God appoints, or, by self-will, going cir- 
cuitous routes ; God overruling all their unbelief 
and all their unfaithfulness, for the election of God 
standeth sure. Yet is Israel an agent, personal, 
spontaneous. 

And do not imagine that miracle upon miracle, 
oracle upon oracle, succeeded in such rapid succession 
that there were no intervals, so to speak, of quiet 
natural development. Why, even during the forty 
years in the wilderness, the miraculous element was 
not so overpowering that it excluded unbelief. It 
did not force faith. There were, even in those days, 
men who acknowledged the hand of God, and men 
who explained all things in such a way that God 



44 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

was not acknowledged. And not merely were there 
long pauses in the period of the Judges, and after- 
wards in the period of the Kings, even as there 
were 400 years between the end of Genesis and 
the beginning of Exodus, and 400 years between 
the end of Malachi and the beginning of the New 
Covenant, but during the whole period of God's 
dealings with Israel there was always the divine 
initiative — there were always periods in which the 
divine interference paused, so to speak, to see the 
effect which it had upon the people, and to allow a 
peaceful development of the nation in all its varied 
private, family, and public life. 

The books of Moses, which laid the foundation, 
do, indeed, mostly contain the divine beginnings of 
things ; and here we have chiefly, although not 
exclusively, divine acts, divine initiation, divine 
speech, divine law, and institutions. But when we 
come to the historical books, from Joshua to the 
book of Chronicles, we enter as it were upon a new 
phase. And, as to these historical books, many 
portions of which seem to us to be so entirely natural 
and human, describing much that is imperfect and 
much that is even sinful, I wish now to show you 
what is their position in the Scripture. 

I begin by reminding you, or perhaps telling 
some of you for the first time, that the ancient 
Hebrews who collected the Scriptures called the 
historical books beginning with Joshua " The Former 
Prophets," and in this they showed their wisdom, 
for the history of the Jews, as you find it in Scripture, 
is not like an ordinary secular history which simply 
aims at the enumeration of events, in order to fill up as 
fully and completely as possible the chronology of the 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 45 



nation's existence. In this history many events are 
passed over, either silently, or very briefly, which to 
a worldly historian would appear important ; and 
others, which to the eye of sense and reason appear 
insignificant, are treated with the greatest fulness 
and circumstantiality. The history of Israel that is 
given to us in the Scriptures has reference to one 
point ; that is, the kingdom of God. It hastens to 
one consummation ; that is, the advent of the Messiah ; 
and everything recorded must stand in relation, more 
or less direct, to this. Therefore they who wrote 
those histories required to be of the prophetic mind, 
that is, men of the theocratic spirit ; but it required 
more than their theocratic spirit, for only He who knew 
the end from the beginning could see these events 
and personages in their proper relation to Christ and 
to the kingdom. Moreover, in these histories there 
is shown to us the very heart of man, the inner 
motives out of which actions spring. And these 
historians pronounce a definite judgment upon 
men. This man was good, and walked in the ways 
of the Lord and pleased the Lord, and the other 
man was wicked, and did not walk in the ways of 
the Lord. 

Another requisite these historians had to ful- 
fil. Whatsoever is written aforetime is written 
for our instruction ; and therefore the events and 
characters which they describe must have an ever- 
lasting significance. They must be symbolical of 
those truths and experiences which always repeat 
themselves in the history of God's children. And 
now who could be the real author of those books ? 
Whether they be written by Samuel, or by Joshua, 
or by some anonymous writer, who could have been 



46 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

the real author of those books ? Who knows the 
counsel of God ? Who beholds the image of Christ ? 
Who searches the depths of the human mind, and 
who provides for all generations of God's saints 
instructive, edifying, guiding, and correcting history ? 
Therefore the historical books, the books of the 
earlier prophets, are " Word of God " in all that they 
contain. If it be said, " Oh, there are so many 
things in the historical parts of Scripture — sins, 
vices, crimes, wickedness," — certainly ; God wants 
us to know all this. God wants to show us what 
the world is in which we live, and the anatomy 
of our own heart ; and there is no wickedness 
and villainy in the world, secret, private, or public, 
that is not fully described in the Word of God, — but 
as God alone can describe it, in its real nature 
and depth and in such a way that the poison is, 
as it were, hermetically sealed — not like the wicked 
and filthy literature of the world which tries to make 
evil appear seductive and guilt excusable. God, 
like a father when he is sending forth his child 
into the wicked world, gives us instruction as to 
what we are to find in the world. 

Or it is said, and it has often been said, " You 
call this the Word of God, and it contains the very 
words of the devil." Certainly it contains the words 
of the devil. It is most important for us to know 
what the devil says. One of the truths revealed 
to us in Scripture, of which this age has no hold, 
and of which believers have little hold, is the 
important doctrine that is revealed to us concerning 
the devil, and concerning his kingdom and his 
influence over men. In the 3rd chapter of Genesis 
we have the methods of Satan " Hath God said ? " 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 47 

In the ist chapter of the book of Job we have the 
tactics of Satan, the accuser of the brethren. In 
the 4th chapter of the gospel of Matthew we have 
the most subtle stratagem of Satan when he tested 
even our Lord Jesus Christ. We are not ignorant 
of Satan's devices, and why ? Because God has 
revealed to us the depths of Satan in His own word. 
And the sayings of wicked men are reported, from 
that first question of Cain, " Am I my brother's 
keeper ? " unto that last one recorded in the 2nd 
epistle of Peter, which you hear nowadays con- 
stantly. Things have remained the same from the 1 
beginning of the world. The course of nature and I 
history is uniform, while you speak of the second 1 
advent of Christ, and of supernatural manifestations. | 

There is another section of Scripture of which itj 
is sometimes thought that we can scarcely say of itt 
that it is the Word of God ; and that is the response 
of Israel to God's acts and to God's words — the 
Psalms, the Proverbs, the book of Ecclesiastes, the 
book of Job, and the Song of Songs. Suffice it to 
say of these also that in them we see the purpose of 
God, that this echo of Israel to His revelation should 
be known to all generations ; and not merely do we 
read the wisdom of Solomon which was very great, 
but in the book of Proverbs wc read of that other 
Wisdom which Solomon describes in the 8th 
chapter, and which ivas, before the foundations of 
the world were laid, and of which James says in 
his epistle, " The wisdom that is from above." 

But let us look at this human element in a more 
direct manner. Do not imagine that, when we em- 
phasise the divine authorship, we do not wish to lay 
full emphasis upon the human authorship. On the 



48 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

contrary everything that is in the Christian meets 
this great fact with exultation and thanksgiving. 
The Bible is written by men for men. " Do 
not let God speak to us," said the children of 
Israel to Moses, " but speak thou unto us." The 
great promise which God gave unto Israel was this, 
" A prophet like Moses will I raise up unto you from 
among your brethren " ; and, although he was 
possessed of final authority, yet he was of their 
own brethren. An angel came to Cornelius, but the 
angel did not preach to him the gospel with the Holy 
Ghost sent down from heaven ; but Peter the apostle 
preached to him the glad tidings of salvation. How 
could it be otherwise when the only mediator between 
God and man is the man Christ Jesus ? And in that 
simple fact, that it is the man Christ Jesus who is the 
Son of the Most High who mediates between God 
and us, there is already granted the true, real humanity 
of all the channels through which the Scriptures 
were written. 

Let us look at the men. We like to see them, 
each with his own face. There was Moses brought up 
in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. There was Amos 
taken from the simple scenes of shepherd life. There 
was Daniel who was a statesman at the court of the 
great world-monarchy Babylon, and of the succeeding 
monarchies. There was Matthew who was a publican ; 
there was Luke who was a physician ; there were 
the apostles who were fishermen. There was Saul 
who had been a disciple of Gamaliel. They lived in 
different ages of the world's history, in different 
countries, — and their different surrounding circum- 
stances are reflected by their individuality and their 
styles of writing. But that is nothing when we come 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 49 

to their own personal character. Oh, there are no 
characters Hke the characters in the Bible. There is 
nobody described in history, and there is no one that 
you know at the present moment, whom you know 
as well as you know Moses and David and the 
apostle Paul. It does not matter that Moses was 
eighty years old when God appeared to him in the 
fiery bush, and that Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee 
who had long resisted Christ when Jesus came and 
converted him. These men God had chosen from 
their mother's womb and separated unto Himself, 
and all their birth and natural conformation, their 
childhood, their youth, all their influences, their 
sins and errors — everything was part and parcel 
of God's chiselling and preparing of that instru- 
ment by which He was to speak and to write. 
Moses — we see what he is ; his zeal for God, his love 
to his nation, his impatience, his impetuosity, his in- 
dignation ; on the other side, his meekness, his self- 
sacrifice, his boldness in asking God to change His 
mind, lest the nations of the world should say that He 
was not able to carry out His purpose, his wonderful 
humility, his wonderful faith, and yet his human 
weakness, so that he was not able to rise to the 
height of the divine argument, and so that he smote 
the rock instead of merely speaking to it, for which 
sin, because he did not sanctify the Lord God, he was 
not allowed to enter into the land of promise. Or 
again, David, his fragrant childhood, his chivalrous 
youth, his manhood with its manifold wanderings and 
dangers, tears, sorrows and joys, his spirit of affection 
and loyalty to his nation, by which he gathered to 
himself all the noble and the meek of the earth who 
feared Jehovah, his petitions, his cries of anguish, his 

E 



50 RELATION OP THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

thanksgiving, his rejoicing and jubilation — we know 
it all, — we can see into his very heart. As for the 
apostle Paul, sent by Christ, enlightened by Christ, 
inspired by the Spirit, he communicates to us the 
whole counsel of God in his epistles, but he passes 
all through his own experience. There is no doctrine 
he states, no experience he describes, but we see it 
vibrating through all the nerves and fibres of his being. 
Thus when he describes in the 7th of Romans, " I lived 
once without the law, but when the law came it killed 
me," when he says to us in the 8th of Romans, " I am 
persuaded that nothing shall separate us from the love 
of God," or when in the 9th to the i ith of Romans, 
he lays bare to us his heart, and we see it a weep- 
ing heart having sorrow and heaviness continually 
on account of Israel, God's nation ; or if you read the 
Corinthians, where you can see Paul's conflict, or the 
Philippians, where you can see Paul's peace, or the 
epistles to Timothy and Titus, where you can see the 
paternal apostle looking forward unto the coming 
ages, — it is Paul who speaks — this man Paul and all 
that is within him ; but God has used him not merely 
to be a pattern to us, but that through him the teach- 
ing should be given. 

But you say, " Oh, that is very true, but how can 
we imagine and how can we conceive human beings 
receiving teaching and disclosures from above ? why, 
they have nothing to do but just to receive them and 
to send them forth again." Oh, it is not so. The 
Scripture shows us the humanity of these men in the 
very act of their being inspired and receiving the 
Word of God from above. And the first piece of 
humanity which we can all understand is this — that 
they will not, — they are not willing. When God 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 51 

appeared to Moses and said, " Go now with my 
message," Moses said, " No. Send some one else. 
I am not fit." He resists. The apostles were the 
witnesses of the resurrection, but they would not 
believe it themselves for a long time. They doubted. 
How did they become the witnesses of the resur- 
rection ? Look at Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a man 
of feminine temperament, gentle, sensitive, — and God 
sent him with nothing but messages of rebuke and 
judgment ; and whereas there were a great number 
of flutes, and harps, and viols that were most 
poetically playing to the nation cheerful and san- 
guine melodies, God sent Jeremiah to destroy and 
to pull down and to rebuke and to announce the 
judgment of God; and Jeremiah expostulated "What 
a selection you have made ! You choose the very 
thing that lacerates me. / am to do this ? I will 
not do this. I am distracted by reason of thy 
terrors day and night." He expostulated with God. 
He says, " Am I to weep away all my soul in rivers 
of tears ? " He cursed the day of his birth ; he kept 
silence ; but it burned within his bones as a fire, 
and God's Word he must speak, and he did speak. 
There you see God and the man. 

Look at Daniel. God gave to him a vision. In 
the 2nd chapter of Daniel there is an image repre- 
sented. In the 7th chapter there is the revelation 
given of the four monarchies, and of the descent 
of the Son of Man from heaven ; but in the book 
of Daniel we can see the effect that it had upon 
him. He fainted. For days he was not able to 
eat. It was as if his soul had gone away from 
him. And then he asks the question, " What shall 
the end of these things be ? " Or again, Isaiah, when 



52 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

he saw the glory and heard the " Holy, holy, holy," 
said, " Woe is me " ; and again, when the great re- 
velations were given to him, he burst forth in the 
exclamation, " Who hath believed our report ? " or 
" Oh that thou wouldst rend the heavens and come 
down." And John in the book of the Apocalypse ! 
Now notice this. Of no book of Scripture can we 
say so emphatically that it is God's Word, for it is 
the book of the revelation which God gave of His 
Son Jesus Christ. Certainly here is a divine objec- 
tive authority, but the person of John the beloved 
disciple we can see throughout the whole book. 
And do you not remember in the 1st chapter he fell 
down at his feet as dead, and Jesus comforts him ? 
And do you not remember afterwards that no one 
was able to open the book : " I wept m^ich. I wept 
much " ? Do we who believe the Bible ever think of 
the men by whom the Bible was written as mere 
instruments and pens ? 

But now I must emphasise the other side. Let us 
take, then, the most subjective part of Scripture, the 
Psalms. A man says to me, " Surely you do not mean 
to say that the Psalms are God's Word. Are not they 
David's word, his faith, his doubt, his impatience, his 
thanksgiving, his experience ? " Of course they are. 
But what if the whole David was God's Word ? What 
if God had prepared and made and guided this David 
that in him as a pattern, and an instalment in a finite, 
imperfect and sin-mixed way there should, by the 
Spirit, be shown forth the experience of Christ in an in- 
finite, perfect, and altogether sinless and divine way ? 
Is not the Psalter the prayer book of the Messiah ? 
Is not the 22nd Psalm, although it does refer to 
David, and was uttered out of David's own depth 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 53 

of heart, — really far beyond David's depth of 
heart, and did he not by the Spirit say, " The Lord 
saith unto my Lord " ? And in the 2nd Psalm in 
which he says, " Thou art my son ; this day have 
I begotten thee," and in all the Psalms in which 
the events of Christ's life are predicted, and the 
events of the lives of those who are identified with 
Christ, — is it David who speaks, or is that true which 
David himself said on his deathbed — the last words 
of David the King of Israel, the sweet psalmist, 
— The Spirit of the Lord spake in me} The Psalms 
of David are the most subjective part of the Bible, 
and it is most evident that all the Psalms of David 
are God's Word. 

Take Jeremiah. Certainly the message that he 
delivered to Israel was none of his seeking, neither 
was it to his taste, but does not Jeremiah know 
perfectly that God has sent him and that he is not 
one of the false prophets ? In no other prophet is 
the contrast given with so much emphasis as in this 
prophet between false prophets who also spoke what 
they called " word of the Lord " — very beautiful, 
poetical, religious, and pious. But God had not 
sent them. In our days some men have the ignor- 
ance and the audacity to compare the inspiration 
of Scripture with the inspiration of Shakespeare 
and poets and sculptors, for man has intuitions and 
imaginations and ideas and may express them, — 
but what is the chaff to the wheat ? " My word," 
saith the Lord, " is like a hammer that breaketh in 
pieces the rocks," and also " like the rain which comes 
down from heaven." And did not all the apostles 
know with the greatest certainty and conviction that 
the things that they spoke and wrote, they spoke 



54 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

and wrote with the words, not which human wisdom 
teaches, but which the Spirit of God teaches ? 

And I wish yet to lead you still farther into 
the human element of the Scripture. God reveals 
to us His mysteries, but not like a magician or 
thaumaturgist, in as bewildering and mysterious a 
manner as possible, but in as simple and unostenta- 
tious a manner as possible, just as our blessed Jesus 
concealed what other men would have pronounced 
publicly. His birth in Bethlehem after thirty years 
was completely forgotten, and people thought that 
He belonged to Nazareth. And during the thirty 
years that He was in Nazareth, He did not go about 
with a divine halo round His countenance. 

We have the five books of Moses. As for their 
composition, that belongs to another subject. These 
five books of Moses, in some form or other, were in 
the hands of Joshua and in the hands of the rulers 
and kings, — for them continually to meditate on ; 
and the promise was given to them that, if they 
meditated on these books, God would bless them. I 
do not know of any promise that God gives to us 
for reading any other book. He is father to this 
book and will stand by it. Then what is revealed in 
Moses we see traces of, in all the other writings 
which follow. Moses is constantly quoted by the later 
historians and by the prophets. If it was only the 
name which God pronounced to Moses, " The Lord 
God, merciful and gracious, long suffering," and so 
on, — it forms as it were the foundation of the Psalms 
and the prophets, with the benediction of Aaron : 
" The Lord bless thee and keep thee." Then we 
find in the days of David and the other psalmists 
that they are studying the Word of God. Then we 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 55 

find that Isaiah quotes the prophet Micah. Then 
Daniel studies the books of Jeremiah. Then we 
find that the apostles arc always referring to the 
books of Moses and the prophets. Then we find in 
the 2nd epistle of Peter a reference to the epistles 
of the apostle Paul. So you see how it grows. No 
evolution. It is not as if that which was started 
first by Moses, by itself, in the mind of man, 
developed and became better and clearer and fuller. 
They did meditate on it ; they did think about it ; 
they did pray over it ; but it did not develop by 
itself God had to interfere again and again with 
new revelations, creative beginnings direct from 
above. And this fact is of the greatest importance 
for this reason. Our blessed Saviour did not come 
to Israel after David and Solomon, when one might 
have said, " You see now what is the result of the 
development of the Jewish nation. At last they 
have produced David, and then they have produced 
Solomon, and now they produce the real man, who 
is the Messiah." From Abraham to David, fourteen 
generations ; from David down to the Babylonish 
captivity, fourteen generations ; and from the Baby- 
lonish captivity through a still drearier territory to 
Joseph, fourteen generations. And when of the 
tree of David there was nothing left but what Isaiah 
calls a stump, when the tabernacle of David was 
fallen low and the representative of the house of 
David was the blessed and dear Virgin Mary who 
brought a pair of turtle doves because of her poverty, 
then Jesus came ; for this is the motto of Israel, 
" With man it is impossible, but with God all things 
are possible." 

Now whereunto shall T compare this growth of 



56 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

the Scriptures ? Shall I say that it is like a 
building ? But what building have you ever seen 
that begins in this way — that there is a house of 
small dimensions — it has a firm foundation ; it has 
good walls ; it is covered in by a roof of safety and 
shelter ; but it is small, and after a number of years 
you see it larger, and after a number of years you 
see it still larger ? There is no such building ; but 
the Scripture is like that. The five books of Moses 
contain a house for God's people. And then the 
Scriptures were enlarged, and still further enlarged, 
until they became complete. Or sliall I say that 
it is like the growth of a plant ? That is better, 
because the seed contains everything. And what is 
the seed ? The Word of God is the seed and 
contains everything ; and out of this seed the 
Scripture came, and in every part of the growth 
there is the life of the seed, and there is the form of 
life that is also in the seed. Or shall I compare it 
to the human being — the infant, the child, the youth, 
the man ? Yes. Well, let us look at the infant. 
Genesis — that would be the infant. Oh, but the 
apostle Paul in the epistle to the Galatians, writing 
in the fulness of time and after the Pentecostal 
disclosures, cries out, " This infant Genesis knows 
everything. This scripture Genesis has foreseen 
that the Gentiles apart from the law shall be justified 
through faith in the promised seed." Is Genesis 
then omniscient ? Genesis is not omniscient, and 
the men that wrote Genesis were not omniscient ; 
but God who caused Genesis to be written was 
omniscient. The first three chapters of Genesis 
find their explanation in the last three of the book 
of Revelation. Melchisedck is explained in the 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 57 

epistle to the Hebrews, — the patriarchal life in the 
doctrine of justification by faith and the ingathering 
of the Jews. What a wonderful book ! So compact 
did it become at last in the days of our blessed 
Saviour that there was no doubt about the books 
which constituted the Scripture — the things that arc 
written. 

And now I can only touch on another subject, but 
I must mention it as it confirms all that I have said. 
You believe in Jesus, the Son of God, and the Son 
of Man, the Messiah. He has a two-fold relation to 
Scripture as God ; and as man He has a two-fold 
relation to the law of God and to everything. As 
Messiah He is under the Scripture. As Son of God 
He is above the Scripture, as He is above the law. 
All that Moses and the prophets wrote pointed to 
Christ. All was fulfilled in Him. Now, when Christ 
was upon earth, what was His attitude to the 
Scripture ? Our blessed Saviour never speaks of the 
principle of the Scripture — of the idea of the 
Scripture — of the teaching of Scripture — of the 
promises of the Scripture, — of this or that in the 
Scripture, of " the divine element " in the Scripture, 
as our modems would say, or of the Word of God 
contained in the Scripture. He always speaks of 
the Scripture — that body — that written thing — that 
collection of books. And of that Scripture He says, 
" I do not receive testimony from man," but " Search 
the Scriptures. They testify of me." Therefore it 
is a divine testimony. But what in the Scriptures 
testifies of Him? Everything — the whole Scriptures — 
the Scriptures themselves. So He says, " Think not 
that I am come to destroy Moses and the prophets. 
Not till heaven and earth pass away shall one jot 



58 RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

or tittle " (that is, one of these httle letters) " be 
removed." When He argues with the Jews and 
quotes incidentally a passage from the Psalms, He 
says in parenthesis, " And the Scripture cannot be 
broken." He does not say, " This verse cannot be 
denied," or, " The teaching of the Psalms cannot be 
gainsaid " ; but simply, *' Because this verse is in 
the Scripture, ipso facto, the Scripture stands good 
for it, and the Scripture cannot be broken." What 
does He say to the Sadducces, in the narrative of 
the rich man and Lazarus ? " They have Moses 
and the prophets. Let them hear them." What 
is the hearing ? " It is written." It is God's Word 
written. Therefore let them hear them. " Have 
you not read what God said ? " Therefore God's 
Word is to be read. 

But not merely this. Our blessed Saviour found 
in the Scripture His own portrait. When He preached 
in the synagogue of Nazareth He opened the book 
of the prophet Isaiah, and said, " The Scripture is 
fulfilled to-day in your hearing." When He showed 
mercy to the publicans and sinners. He described His 
own mind by that which was written, " I will have 
mercy, and not sacrifice." His whole work. His 
whole suffering. His whole death. His whole resurrec- 
tion, He found in what was written. The Scripture 
must be fulfilled. All that is written concerning 
Him has now an end. Was it not Word of God to 
Jesus ? Was it not the portraiture of Christ Himself? 
Was not it the revelation of God's secret counsel 
and will concerning our salvation ? When Jesus 
argues with Satan, He says, " It is written." When 
Jesus prays to the Father He says, " The son of 
perdition is lost, that the Scripture may be fulfilled " ; 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 59 

and when He authorises the disciples, and prepares 
th6m for their apostoHc mission, He tells them that 
He entered through sufferings into glory, because it 
was so written. As it was written, so it happened ; 
and as it is written, and as it happened, so it must 
be preached unto the world. So the testimony of 
Jesus concerning the whole Scripture is that it is 
the Word of God. 

To say, " The l^ible contains the Word of God," 
instead of saying, " The Bible is the Word of God," 
is inadequate and misleading. Everything that is 
in Scripture would authenticate itself to us as Word 
of God, if we understood it in its right connection 
with the centre ; but we must not say merely that 
the Scripture contains the Word of God ; and we 
had better not say it at all, because, in the first place, 
what else does Scripture contain besides the Word of 
God ? Nothing is in Scripture that does not belong 
to it, and nothing is outside of Scripture that ought 
to be introduced into it. It is perfectly true that 
there are some parts of Scripture more vital, more 
noble than others, like the book of Genesis, which is 
like the head, like the gospel of John, which is like 
the heart ; but as the apostle explains to us in his 
splendid comparison of the body with the Church, 
all the members are members of the body, according 
to their various positions, importance, and significance. 
Life goes through them all, and it is not for us to 
separate anything that belongs to the living and 
sacred body of Scripture. And if Scripture only 
contains Scripture, who is to judge what is Word of 
God, and what is not Word of God ? There are 
many things in the Scripture which perhaps are not 
interesting to this one or to that one ; but Scripture 



6o RELATION OF THE HUMAN, HISTORICAL, ETC., 

is not given for an individual, but for the whole 
Church ; not for the Church of one age, but for the 
Church of all ages. There are many people who 
take no interest in the Jews, but God takes the most 
intense and everlasting interest in the Jews, — and that 
of itself will place a very large portion of Scripture 
in another light. 

Is our Christian consciousness what men have 
called the " verifying faculty " to be set up, as a 
judge, over the disclosures which are to be found 
in the Scriptures ? Is the very creation of the 
Scripture, the very child which owes its existence 
to the teaching of Scripture, to assume the position 
of a superior ? When I read the Bible am I to hear 
the voice at every page, " Hath God indeed said this ? 
Hath God indeed said this ? Is this merely contained 
in the Word of God, or is it Word of God ? " It is 
said that Scripture is the rule of faith. So the Church 
of England, so the Church of Scotland, so every 
Protestant evangelical Church, has declared that 
nothing is to be demanded of God's people to believe 
and obey, unless it be founded on the Word of God. 
Scripture is the rule of faith, but who is to rule the 
rule, or to correct the rule ? Scripture could never 
be the rule of faith unless it was the foundation of 
faith and the source of faith. " Faith cometh by 
hearing, and hearing cometh by the Word of God." 
And where does the Word of God come from, but 
from God Himself? And so let us believe it as it is 
declared to us in the epistle to the Hebrews, " At 
sundry times and in divers manners, unto the fathers 
by the prophets," but in them all, and through them 
all, God spake. 

I hope to finish what I have to remark on this 



ELEMENTS TO THE DIVINE 6i 

subject, especially about the New Testament, and the 
work of the Holy Ghost in the formation of Scripture. 
The subject of my next lecture will be the certainty 
which believers have concerning Scripture and the 
testimony to it of Christ. 



IV 



THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED— 
AND DECISIVE 

The testimony of Jesus Christ to the Old Testament Scriptures decisive — 
The relation in which Jesus stands to the New Testament — Misre- 
presentations of the Rationalists — They undermine the authority of 
Christ in order to shake His testimony — Assertion that His human 
knowledge limited — The searcher of hearts (God's prerogative) when 
on earth — No Socinians ever dared to say what is now said — The 
Holy Spirit not to reveal any other thing than Jesus had revealed, 
but to bring to remembrance — In the Sermon on the Mount 
Jesus speaks as the Son of God — His attestations to Moses and the 
prophets after the resurrection — This the foundation of the claims 
of Christianity made by the apostles — ^Jesus Christ is Jehovah — This 
shown from numerous passages — Weak assertions of recent times — 
Advanced preaching — The Spirit, acting through the Scriptures, 
effects conversion — The Bible never to be separated from Christ 
the Living Word — Sceptics not to be dreaded, — but the false, 
compromising, conciliatory modern teaching in our churches — The 
enemy will advise to put the sword into the sheath. The sword 
not to be defended but unsheathed. 

The subjects to-day are : the testimony of Jesus 
Christ concerning the Old Testament Scriptures 
decisive ; the relation in which Jesus stands to the 
New Testament ; the Spirit of God and His relation 
to the Scripture. 

It is most important that all Christians should 
be fully convinced in their own minds that the testi- 
mony which Jesus bears concerning Moses and the 



THE TESTIMONY OE JESUS CONSIDERED 63 

prophets is decisive. It leaves not a vestige of 
doubt in the mind of any one who acknowledges that 
Jesus is the Son of God. It gives us a perfect and 
incontrovertible conviction that the Scriptures of the 
Old Testament are the Word of God. Many doubts, 
many objections, have been brought against this 
view, and I can only remind you in a few words of 
the tactics of the rationalists who do not believe in 
the divinity of Christ, who attempt to show that 
our Saviour accommodated Himself to the prejudices 
of His contemporaries, and that, — although He Him- 
self did not believe in the inspiration of the Old 
Testament, or in the existence of Satan, or in those 
who were possessed of devils as really possessed by 
them, — still adapting Himself to the ignorance and 
weakness of the Jews, and wishing to lead them, as 
it were, into a higher and nobler sphere of thought. 
He argued with them from the things which they 
admitted. Thus a course of action is suggested 
unworthy of the character of an honest man, un- 
worthy of the dignity of a prophet, blasphemous as 
applied to Jesus, who is God over all blessed for 
ever. Jesus who never for a single moment accom- 
modated Himself to the prejudices of the Pharisees 
and scribes, who with all the energy of His character 
protested against the traditions of the elders, who 
not merely in secret, but in the presence of all 
people, declared that every plant which His Heavenly 
Father had not planted, however venerable and pious 
it might seem, must be rooted up, — how could He 
for a single moment teach what He knew to be 
untrue ? 

Another explanation has been attempted. It 
has been stated, and that in the most recent times. 



64 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED — 

that when the Son of God emptied Himself, and laid 
aside the glory of His divine state of existence, and 
became man, His human knowledge became limited, 
and that this limitation must be taken into account 
when we consider His declarations about Moses and 
the prophets. A few sentences will suffice to show 
that this whole mysterious subject, of the self-limita- 
tion of the Son of God in becoming man, does not 
in any manner touch the subject that is before us. 

Let me remind you of the facts that are brought 
before us in the gospels, which show the range of 
Christ's vision as man upon earth. He saw into the 
depths of Nathanael's heart when Nathanael was 
under the fig-tree, He saw into the depths of the sea 
and beheld the coin in the mouth of the fish. He 
read the whole past life of the woman of Samaria, 
whom He had never seen before during His earthly 
pilgrimage. He knew that Judas was going to betray 
Him. He saw the man waiting on the road with 
the ass and the foal of the ass, and the other man 
who had prepared the guest chamber for Him to 
eat the passover with His disciples. Many more 
instances I might quote, but what I wish to bring 
before you is this— that Jesus, when He was on 
earth, was the Searcher of Hearts. This is God's 
prerogative. " / only search the heart." Jesus knew 
what was in man and did not require any one to tell 
Him. Secondly, He saw the whole invisible realm 
of angels and of devils. " I beheld Satan fall like 
lightning from heaven." " Satan hath desired to 
have thee, that he may sift thee as wheat." And in 
all the possessed — and possessed they were as surely 
as we have a gospel record — the Lord Jesus Christ 
saw the powers of the evil one. But more than that, 



AND DECISIVE 65 



Jesus saw the Father. Jesus said, " No man knoweth 
the . Father but the Son." He who saw the depths 
of the human heart— He who saw the whole of the 
invisible world of spirits — He who knew God 
absolutely, — He it is who says unto us, " The Scrip- 
ture cannot be broken." 

I wish to establish this point still more firmly. 
Let us look, then, upon Jesus as a prophet. None 
of the old Socinians would ever have dared or wished 
to say the things, that are now said by people who 
are in evangelical churches. Much mistaken as they 
were about the person of Christ, they all held clearly 
that He was the truth, that He was the Light of the 
World, that He was the perfect prophet whose testi- 
mony is to be received implicitly. 

Let us first look upon Jesus merely as a prophet. 
What is a prophet according to the Old Testament? 
A man who runs not, before he is sent, who is sent 
by God, who is entrusted with a divine message, who 
delivers not his own thoughts, but the things which 
God has committed unto him ; who preaches 
repentance, and at the same time preaches the 
coming of the Messiah, even of Jehovah Himself in 
His glory. Such a prophet was Jesus, sent by the 
Father in the fulness of the Holy Ghost, preaching 
repentance and the advent of the kingdom of God. 
But all the Old Testament prophets were only 
precursors of the real prophet that was promised, 
and therefore the great promise given unto the 
people by God through Moses is this : " A prophet 
like unto thee I will raise up unto them from among 
thy brethren." And what was then the resemblance 
of the prophet that was to come to Moses ? As the 
first Adam points to the Lord from heaven, so Moses 

F 



66 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED— 

points to Christ. God spoke with Moses face to 
face. Moses was not merely a prophet, but he was 
the mediator, and he was faithful in all God's house ; 
and thus, after all the prophets that God sent unto 
Israel, there was to come at last a prophet like unto 
Moses at the beginning of the new dispensation — 
the mediator between God and the people who 
should speak to God face to face. And this promise 
which God gave through Moses was afterwards 
expanded, in the subsequent prophets. Let me 
remind you of the features of the prophet which was 
to come. He was to know the whole mind of God. 
He was to possess the Spirit in His sevenfold 
plenitude. He was to be entrusted with the whole 
message of God, and not merely with fragments. 
But more than that. He was Himself to be the 
fulfilment of the promise ; for not merely was He to 
be a prophet, raised up from among His brethren, 
but He was also to come down from heaven, and in 
Him the fulness of divine light and divine life was 
to be manifested upon earth. Such a one was 
Jesus. 

Other prophets were not always in the Spirit. 
The Spirit came upon them from time to time : but 
Jesus, every moment of His existence and in every 
utterance that proceeded from Him, was filled with 
the Holy Ghost. He said, " My doctrine is not 
mine but my Father's who sent me. All I have 
heard of the Father, I have given unto you. I 
speak not of myself, but whatsoever I see the Father 
do, I do likewise." Therefore this blessed Jesus, 
always in communion with the Father, always re- 
ceiving from the Father the words which He was to 
give unto the people, and always in communion with 



AND DECISIVE 67 



the Holy Ghost, is that perfect prophet who speaks 
nothing but what is in accordance with the divine 
mind and the divine will. 

But to show this still more emphatically, Jesus 
was not able to tell the disciples everything because 
they could not have borne it. Therefore the Holy 
Ghost was to come afterwards, — but that Holy Ghost 
was not to reveal any other thing than that which 
Jesus had revealed. " He shall bring to your remem- 
brance the words that I have spoken unto you." He 
was only to show in fuller light and development what 
Jesus had already taught. If, then, the words of 
Jesus are fallible, we have no infallible God — neither 
Father nor Holy Ghost. When Jesus was on the 
Mount of Transfiguration, there were Moses and 
Elijah as the representatives of the Old Testament 
history, but they disappeared. God the Father from 
the excellent glory spake and said, " This is my 
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; " but he 
added something that he had not said on the day of 
Christ's baptism, for then the prophetic office of 
Christ was only beginning — now it had come to its 
conclusion — " Hear him." God visible is Jesus. 
God audible is Jesus. This is that prophet like 
unto Moses and greater than Moses of whom God 
the Father says, " He is my representative and my 
mouth. Whatever he speaks unto you, believe and 
accept." 

Were I to stop here, I think I would have proved 
my point, but I cannot do so, because I believe that 
Jesus is the Son of God. We can never understand 
the relation of the divinity, in its omniscience and 
omnipotence, unto Jesus of Nazareth. Whether it 
was in abeyance, or whatever theory we may form 



68 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED — 

on this mysterious subject, has nothing to do with 
what is revealed to us in the gospels. As it is with 
the omnipotence of Christ, so it is with the omni- 
science. Christ performed His miracles by faith in 
the Father. Christ, every evening that He went to 
His rest, commended Himself to the Father. Christ 
was true man. His prayers were reality. Therefore 
the glory of His miracles Christ afterwards attributed 
to the Father, and when He raised Lazarus He 
ascribed this to the Father and thanked the Father 
who always heard Him. But not like any other 
prophet, relying upon the omnipotence of God, did 
Jesus perform miracles, but by His own omnipotence. 
How did He raise Lazarus from the dead ? "I am 
the resurrection and the life." In Him there was 
the resurrection power — and to raise the dead im- 
plies omnipotence. And thus also it is with the 
omniscience of Jesus. It is true that Jesus says of 
that hour when the Father shall send again the Son, 
He knoweth not. Here there was a limitation of 
knowledge, but Jesus knew that He did not know it, 
and said that this was kept from Him during that 
time, throwing all the more light on all the other 
declarations that He made. As He says to Nico- 
demus, " We know that we speak." " The Son of 
Man who is in heaven is the only one who, having 
come down from heaven, shall ascend again." " I 
am the truth," He says ; and like God Himself, He 
says, " Verily, verily, I say unto you." 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks as a 
prophet, but He speaks as the Son of God — as God 
manifest in the flesh. " Verily, verily, I say unto 
you." He contrasts Himself with the Jehovah of the 
Old Testament, and if I may use that expression He 



AND DECISIVE 69 



shows that Jehovah is now reveahng Himself in a 
more glorious manner than He did before. When 
Jesus as a prophet speaks of the last day, how does 
He speak ? " Many shall say unto me ; and / shall 
say unto them ' depart from me.' " Therefore Jesus 
in His humanity beholds Himself as the judge of the 
quick and the dead. The secrets of the future are 
before Him. And when He privately instructs His 
disciples about the destruction of Jerusalem and the 
second advent, He refers to the prophet Daniel ; but 
He says, " When the Son of Man shall come in his 
glory." 

Another point — for there is not a single loophole 
of escape. When Jesus rose again from the dead 
where was then the limitation of His human know- 
ledge, why did He lead back His disciples, on all the 
occasions when He appeared unto them, to Moses 
and the prophets, as if this was the only way in 
which He could reveal Himself and manifest Himself 
to the children of men ? " Ought not the Christ 
to have passed through sufferings unto glory ? " 
" And beginning with Moses and the prophets, he 
expounded unto them all the things concerning 
himself" And this was His last commission— that 
they must preach as it was written and as it was 
fulfilled. No, my beloved friends, whatever stage of 
conviction you may be in now, and whatever influ- 
ences may surround you, examine the question, test 
it, search it, sift it ; this is my testimony — that as 
true as God the Father is the Father of all truth, 
and the Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth, and 
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, so true is the 
testimony of Jesus concerning Moses and the 
prophets — the whole Old Testament scripture as 



70 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED — 

it was embodied in that book which the Jews called 
Scripture, — that it is infallible, that it is authoritative, 
that it reveals Himself in all His glorious person and 
in the perfections of His work. 

And so did the apostles preach. Where have 
you got your Christianity from ? Who has converted 
you, pagans, into worshippers of God and Christ ? 
Have you not derived everything from the apostles ? 
Are you not built upon the foundation of the 
apostles ? And how did the apostles preach ? 
" That Christ died according to the Scriptures." 
Not a single syllable of the New Testament was 
written then. And they preached that Christ rose 
again, " According to the Scriptures." And when 
people came to believe in Jesus how did the apostles 
teach them ? They taught them from Daniel about 
the man of sin, the Antichrist that was to come. 
They taught them from the history of the Jews in 
the wilderness, that all these things had happened to 
us for an example. They referred them to the whole 
of prophecy that had gone before, saying that by the 
consolation which the Scriptures give us, and by 
patiently waiting for the fulfilment of the Scripture, 
we should have the hope, namely, of Christ's second 
advent. By Scripture they instructed the unbelievers ; 
by Scripture they instructed those who had already 
become Christians, and the apostle Peter, shortly 
before he laid aside his tabernacle and finished 
his course, knowing the great errors and the false 
prophets which were already beginning their pernici- 
ous work, reminded the Christians of the testimony 
of the transfiguration of Christ — reminded them also 
of the sure word of prophecy. To this they were to 
attend ; by this they were to be cheered ; and by 



AND DECISIVE 



this they were to be defended against all the assaults 
of the wicked One. And the apostle Paul, when he 
had reached the end of his earthly journey, and 
after he had declared to Timothy that perilous times 
were coming, had only one counsel to give him : 
" From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures 
which are able to make thee wise unto salvation 
through faith which is in Christ Jesus." " All Scrip- 
ture is given by inspiration of God." 

But I must come now to the New Testament. 
Jesus Christ is Jehovah. Only Jehovah can say " I, 
even I, am he that forgiveth thy sins." Jesus says 
" Be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee." Only 
Jehovah can say " They have forsaken me, the 
fountain of living water." Jesus says " If any man 
thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." Only 
Jehovah can say " As a bridegroom rejoiceth over 
his bride, so will I rejoice, O Zion, over thee." 
Jesus says " I am the bridegroom, and how can the 
children of the bridechamber fast while I am with 
them ? " Only Jehovah can say " Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart ; " and Jesus 
says " If any man loves father or mother or wife or 
child more than me, he is not worthy of me." Who 
is Jesus ? He is Jehovah, and Jehovah promised that 
He would come, and Jehovah has come according to 
His promise. Because Jesus is Jehovah, He is the 
centre to gather Israel. " How often would I have 
gathered thy children together." Could any prophet 
ever have said that, or any angel ? Could the angel 
Michael come down and say " Israel, come to me " .? 
Jesus is the centre of Israel. Jesus says " I will 
build my Church " — " uiy Church." The ccclesia 
belongs only to Jehovah. When Jesus says to Peter 



72 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED — 

" Feed my sheep," how are they His sheep, unless He 
be Jehovah who is the shepherd of the flock ? There- 
fore said Jesus to Jerusalem when He foretold the 
destruction of that city, " Behold, I sent unto you 
prophets and wise men and scribes." Who sent the 
Old Testament prophets ? Jehovah^ and if a man 
was not sent by'^JeTTovah he was a false prophet. 
Who sends the apostles ? Jesus, who is Jehovah. 
I And what is the authority that Jesus gives to the 
' apostles ? " He that heareth you heareth me." 
■ Notice that. Not " As it were me." He that heareth 
'you heareth me. And therefore it is that Jesus pro- 
mised to the apostles the Spirit that was to lead them 
into all truth. Jesus did not say " I have been three 
years with Peter and James and John and Philip 
and Thomas. They love me ; they believe in me. 
They are loyal men. They remember what I have 
told them ; I rely now upon them to spread Christian- 
ity." That is what you read in these silly boastful 
nineteenth -century books ; but no. Jesus knew 
that without the Holy Ghost, and without His special 
presence and authority, the apostles were altogether 
unable for the high task which He had assigned to 
them. And therefore are the writings of the evangel- 
ists and of the apostles the very words of Jesus, the 
teaching of Jesus. We are built upon the foundation 
of the apostles. They require no successors, because, 
up to this very day, they are in the midst of us and 
teach us. And, like the disciples in the days of the 
first Pentecost, we continue steadfastly in the teach- 
ing of the apostles, which is none other than the 
teaching of Jesus. 

Therefore the apostle Paul in the epistle to the 
Romans, in a passage which is very little considered, 



AND DECISIVE 73 



says that the mystery which had been hidden for 
ages was made known unto all nations by the pro- 
phetical writings, in which He does not refer to the 
Old Testament prophets, but to Himself and to the 
other writers of the New Testament. And these 
writings of the apostles have this peculiar character- 
istic. All is in them more fully revealed than in 
the Old Testament, and yet God uses more the 
individuality of the writer than He ever did before. 
And therefore all the New Testament writings with 
a {q.\\ exceptions are in the form of letters — the 
personal testimony and experience of the apostles, 
and yet the very Word of God and revelation of 
Jesus Christ. 

Now to sum up, Jesus says : If you believe 
Moses, ipso facto you believe Me. If you do not 
believe the writings of Moses, of course you do not 
believe My sayings. Moses wrote of Me. Each 
word is weighty. Moses himself wrote — committed 
to writing — and Jesus is the sum and sub stance of J 
what he wrote! ThaTls7"He fs the foundation of the/ 
vvlToTeTiistory of the Old Testament and of its pro- 
phetic teaching. And not merely this passage or that 
l)assage, but the whole collection of books as they 
were among the Jews, is the Scripture which cannot 
be broken and in which Christ Himself is delineated. 

Now I come to the next point — the relation of 
the Spirit of God to the Scripture. There are many 
people who ask questions about the inspiration of 
Scripture to whom the best answer would be this : 
" Have you received the Holy Ghost ? Is there any- 
thing that you believe because the Holy Ghost has 
taught you ? Do you know that a man cannot 
believe in Jesus, unless the Holy Ghost teaches him 



74 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED — 

and enables him ? What do you know about the 
Holy Ghost at all, that you ask this question whether 
the Scripture is inspired ? " Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, — one God. The Father gives ; the Son is the 
channel ; the Holy Ghost imparts. The grace of 
the Lord Jesus, the love of the Father, come to us in 
the communion of the Holy Ghost. God the Father 
created. By the Word He created, and the Spirit of 
God moved upon the face of the waters. The Father 
sent Jesus ; Jesus came of His own accord ; and by 
the Holy Ghost was He conceived in the womb of 
the Virgin Mary. 

Jesus died. The Father gave Him up to death, 
and by the everlasting Spirit He gave Himself as a 
sacrifice for our sins. The Father can do nothing 
except by Jesus, and through the Spirit. Christ can 
do nothing except by the Father and by the power 
of the Spirit. The Spirit knows nothing, says nothing, 
does nothing, but according to the Father's will, and 
through and in Christ Jesus. And so every man 
that has been converted says, as that little boy said 
to Mr. M'Cheyne, when he was dying, " I love the 
Father who loved me and gave Jesus to die for me. 
I love Jesus who shed His precious blood for me ; 
and I love the Holy Ghost who made me know the 
love of the Father and the love of the Son." 

Now, with people who know this it is possible to 
speak. What is the use of speaking to the others 
on this point ? Oh yes, on many other points, but 
not on this point. As Scripture is the whole counsel 
of God unto salvation, — as Scripture is the perfect 
Dor-traitureof Christ, both in His first and His second 
advent, so Scripture could not have come into exist- 
ence without the Holy Ghost. I say to the people 



AND DECISIVE 75 



every Sunday : " Let us read the Word of God " ; 
and then I say " The 1 9th Psalm of David." What 
is the connecting link ? The Spirit spake by David. 
The Spirit speaks. What the Spirit spoke by the 
mouth of David had to be fulfilled in the history of 
Jesus. The Spirit speaks and testifies. " Your sins I 
will remember no more." " Holy men spake as they 
were moved by the Holy Ghost." What is that 
moving of the Holy Ghost ? It is a very strange 
thing that even the heathen poets, when they had 
some great subject that they wished to describe, 
invoked the muse. As Homer says, " Tell me, O 
muse, the man in all his wanderings " — speaking of 
Ulysses. Or, " O goddess, I wish to sing the wrath 
of the son of Peleus, Achilles," — feeling that the 
human spirit, as it were, was not sufficient to describe 
things worthy of their grandeur. The prophets 
spake, not by their own imagination, nor by their 
own impulse, as I showed to you before. They 
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 
carried along by the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost 
bearing them along, not destroying their individuality, 
but upholding them continually. So does the 
apostle Paul say that all Scripture is God-spirited, 
breathed by the Spirit of God. What a wonderful 
truth is revealed to us here ! We are not able to 
understand it. We are not able to describe 
how it is that the Spirit of God worked in 
these men. We know one thing — that they them- 
selves did not fully understand what they wrote, 
" teaching diligently what the Spirit that was in 
them did signify " ; and we know that all the narra- 
tives which are contained in the Old Testament 
could not have been fully understood at the time, 



76 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED— 

because they are for our instruction, upon whom the 
latter days have come. Yet this is the truth — that 
they themselves, men of God, holy men, wrote as 
they were moved by the Spirit of God. 

And if this is true, let me note, in passing, one 
of the peculiarities of the present day — what is 
called " advanced " preaching. " Advanced " preach- 
ing means this — to make Moses and the prophets 
say as little as possible, and, if possible, no more 
than we could know without them ; and the great 
question is always, " Oh, you think this Psalm refers 
to Christ ? How could David know this ? David 
could not have an understanding of this. We must 
remember the time of David, the circumstances of 
David." Oh yes, there is a different exposition of 
Scripture which is not Scripture itself The New 
Testament exposition of the Old Testament is the 
only true exposition, for it explains not merely what 
David and the prophets could understand and tried 
to understand, but what the Holy Ghost understood, 
and deposited with them, distinctly, in this way. 
Supposing that there is a little plant before me. I 
can examine it. But supposing that I have a 
powerful microscope. I look at it, and now I can 
see a number of things which before were entirely 
non-existent to me. Have I put anything into that 
plant that was not there before ? Have I changed 
the plant. Have I introduced my pet ideas into 
that plant. So, when we read Leviticus with the 
light of the epistle to the Hebrews ; when we read 
the whole Old Testament with the light of the 
evangelists and the epistles, that is exposition, not 
imposition. We do not put anything into it. The 
Holy Spirit enlarges our vision to see what is there. 



AND DECISIVE 77 



There are many questions in connection with this to 
be answered and difficulties to be solved ; but I do 
not enter into these. I have shown you what the 
Word of God, as the basis of the doctrines which 
are essential and vital, teaches us ; and any one of 
you who believes in God the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, and in Jesus Christ, that He is both the Son 
of Mary and the Son of the Most High, must neces- 
sarily grant what I have said. Upon such broad 
basis let the thing rest at first, because it is for all 
Christian people. 

And now I pass on to the last point. How am 
I sure that the Scripture is the Word of God ? Oh ! 
people are so anxious nowadays. This man will 
not believe in the miracle of Jonah, and this man 
will not believe in the extermination of the Canaan- 
ites being by God's commandment, and another 
cannot believe the Psalms, because David speaks of 
the vengeance which is to overtake God's enemies. 
This thing arises, that thing, this difficulty, that diffi- 
culty, all little isolated fragments and bits ; they do 
not regard the whole. We may go on arguing in this 
way for thousands of years and not bring a person 
any nearer to the truth. This Bible is not a book 
in the way in which there arc other books. God 
the living one is testified of there. Worship not the 
book. Never think of the Bible as separate from 
God the Father and Jesus the Saviour, and the 
agency and work of the Holy Ghost. We are sure 
that Scripture is the Word of God, because the 
Spirit of God testifies of it as the only ground of 
our absolute certainty. There are many arguments, 
there are many evidences, there are many things to 
predispose you to listen to the Scripture. As I 



78 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED— 

have already pointed out, the sublimity of its 
doctrine, the beauty and attractiveness of its lan- 
guage, the grandeur of its commands, the unity of 
all its component parts, the power which it has 
exerted in the world and in the Church — all these 
things are difficult to gainsay. There is enough 
evidence to make every person guilty in the sight 
of God who does not acknowledge the Scripture ; 
but tell me how you are sure that Jesus is the 
Son of God, or that Jesus died for your sin, or that 
you are a child of God ? It is the Spirit that wit- 
nesses, and the Spirit is truth. 

And all Christians and all Christian ministers 
ought to have the fulness of conviction that the 
Spirit is truth. There are certain portions of 
Scripture in which, as it were, you are not at home. 
You have not felt their power. But other people 
have felt their power. Some generations of the 
Church of Christ are led into one portion of God's 
Word and some into another. The Scripture beareth 
witness unto the whole Church of Christ — the Spirit, 
with the Scripture, is truth, for as is the Holy Ghost 
so is the Scripture. The object of the Holy Ghost 
is to glorify Christ. The object of the Scripture is 
to glorify Christ. The method of the Holy Ghost 
is to convince, to save, to comfort with the assurance 
of God's favour, to enlighten, instruct, warn, guide, 
cleanse, establish those that come to Christ. The 
object of the Scripture is to be profitable for 
doctrine, for correction, for instruction in righteous- 
ness, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished 
thoroughly unto every good work. As is the Scrip- 
ture, so is the Spirit — one aim, one method. The 
two go together. The power of the Bible when the 



AND DECISIVE 79 



Holy Ghost is with it is the power of the Word of 
God. Oh, how many there have been opposed to 
God, but the Word of God has been to them Hke 
tlie hammer that breaks in pieces the rock. Oh, 
how many there have been in sadness when they 
heard the voice, " Come unto me, all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 
A poor man, as he was led to the scaffold because 
he had committed murder, on being asked whether 
he was afraid to die, gave this answer — " I rely on 
one verse of Scripture, ' God so loved the world, that 
he gave his only begotten Son,' when I heard this 
I saw the arms of God wide open, ' that whosoever 
believeth in him shall not perish, but have eternal 
life.' When I read this I felt the arms tightly close 
in upon me, and I am saved." Do you remember 
how Martin Luther by the reading of the Psalms, 
by the reading of the epistle to the Galatians, by 
the reading of the epistle to the Romans was, out 
of the depth of despair, transplanted into a heaven 
of thanksgiving and jubilation ? What was it that 
was the instrument of the conversion of Augustine 
but that, opening the Scriptures, he saw the verse in 
the 13 th chapter of Romans which called him to rise 
out of darkness and out of night. How many Jews 
have been converted simply by the reading of the 5 3rd 
chapter of the prophet Isaiah — as Luther calls it, the 
clearest gospel in all the Bible — and after a man has 
been converted, is there anything else in the whole 
world, are there any sermons, are there any words of 
God's witnesses that can feed him, that can strengthen 
him, that can encourage him, that can rebuke him, 
and that can give him light and assurance in the 
hour of death ? God has taken s^reat care in the 



8o THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED — 

Bible that we should know what the Bible is. 
There are many passages in Scripture describing 
the excellence of Scripture. Such a passage is the 
1 1 6th Psalm. There are no vain repetitions. 
There is always something fresh and something 
new. And what is the testimony concerning the 
Word of God ? Here is a picture of all life. We 
see the young man who has a great ideal of perfec- 
tion before him. We see a man who is in affliction 
and in sorrow, and we see a man who is despised 
and mocked by the people around him. We see a 
man who is surrounded by adversaries and by 
enemies who are continually wresting his words. 
We see a man who is often disheartened, whose 
soul is cleaving to the dust, but in every circum- 
stance of life it is the Word of God to which he 
looks, not to the maxims which prevail among 
Israel, not to the traditions of men as preached 
among them, not to the ideas that are held by the 
people with whom he is associated, but to God's 
Word only. God speaks to him, and this Word of 
God is all-sufficient to him. He knows of no other 
piety, he knows of no other devoutness, he knows of 
no other diligence in God's service, he knows of no 
other carefulness to do the thing which is right 
apart from the Word of God, for " all Scripture is 
given by inspiration of God, and therefore it is 
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for 
instruction in righteousness, that the man of God 
may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every 
good work." The Holy Ghost accompanies the 
Word, and the power of the Holy Ghost is in the 
Word. Be not deceived, the Word of God in Jli.e 
hiehest sense means the Son of God. He is the 



AND DECISIVE 8i 



Word. Word of God in the sense next to that 
means the Gospel message, " And this is the Word 
which by the Gospel is preached unto you." And 
the Bible never for a single moment should be 
separated from Christ, the living Word, and from 
the message of God, which is the treasure of the 
Word ; — and the work and agency of the Holy Ghost 
is the embodiment and incorporation of that Word. 

Separate it is from all other books. As Augustine 
says of the Bible, " What is the Bible else but a letter 
of God Almighty addressed to His creatures, in which 
letter we hear the voice of God, and behold the heart 
of our heavenly Father ? " Be established in the 
truth. 

The Bible needs no defence. The Bible defends 
itself; the Bible explains itself I do not dread the 
pagans, I do not dread the infidels, I do not dread 
sceptics. I dread the false, compromising and con- 
ciliatory modern teaching in our Churches. That is 
the only thing that is to be dreaded. Let the Bible 
only be kept separate. As it is, it needs no defence. 
Britannia needs no bulwarks, and why? Because God 
has separated her by the sea. That is her strength 
and her defence. The Scripture needs no bulwarks. 
The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, and 
who ever heard of defending a sword ? It is the / 
enemy who will advise you to put the sword into 
the sheath — a beautiful sheath with all kinds of meta- 
physical and artistic ornamentations. The sword 
must be unsheathed, for the sword is aggressive. 
Oh that we may know the Scripture not merely as 
the sword of the Spirit, for that sword, although it 
may inflict pain, is meant for healing. Oh that we 
may know it as the gentle dew and rain that comes 

G 



82 THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CONSIDERED 

down from heaven and returneth not thither, but 
prospercth in the things which please God. My 
wish for each one of you, and for myself, is this — 
that when the time comes that we must part even 
from this dear book we may be able to say. This 
has been God's message to me in the Scripture. " I 
have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore 
with lovincf kindness have I drawn thee." Amen. 



V 

THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

The Jews the custodians of the Old Testament Scriptures, and witnesses 
to the truth of BiMe history and prophecy — This shown in the 
epistle to the Romans by the Apostle Paul — To them were com- 
mitted the oracles of God — These oracles refer largely to the Jews — 
They were all written by Jews — All other religions can be accounted 
for by the cliaracter of the nations among whom prevalent — Not so 
the religion of the Jews — It found them stubborn, and hostile to it — 
Absurdity of the fanciful theories as to the books of Moses having 
been fabricated after the Exile, when these books so condemn the 
Jews themselves — Pascal on this subject — Particular instructions as 
to the Mosaic records, etc. — The roll of the book in Josiah's days — 
Imputation of dishonesty — Parallel with the Bible in the Middle 
Ages — The Jews had never any doubt about these books — These 
books selected out of a large literature — Apocrypha never pretends to 
be Scripture, but shows reverence to all the Scriptures — Bibliolatry 
of the post- Babylonian period — The letter without the Spirit — The 
position of the Jews for the last 1800 years — Not hopelessly fallen 
— The great future before them — The Apostle Paul's triumphal 
arch. 

The subject this morning is the following : The 
Jews the custodians of the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures, and witnesses to the truth of Bible history 
and prophecy. 

You remember that in the epistle to the Romans, 
which is the most comprehensive and systematic 
exposition of the gospel of Christ which the apostle 
Paul preached for the obedience of faith among all 



84 THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

the nations of the world, the question is asked by 
the apostle, " What advantage, then, hath the Jew ? " 
He had proved in the previous chapters that both 
Jews and Gentiles were guilty before God, and that 
the Jew having received far greater privileges was 
under greater condemnation ; and now the question 
at the very outset of the epistle bursts forth, " What 
advantage, then, hath the Jew ? " And the answer 
which he gives is in every respect instructive and 
striking : " Much, every way, but chiefly that unto 
them were committed the oracles of God " ; — a very 
important expression which the apostle uses with 
regard to all the communications which God had 
made to Israel ; — the revelations which He had given 
to them, and which He had afterwards caused to be 
written and to be transmitted to future generations. 
He uses the very strongest expression to convince us 
that these are the very words of God, authoritative 
and everlasting. And he also used another expres- 
sion, which is very striking — that these oracles, as 
the very Word itself also teaches us, came down from 
heaven, and that they were merely entrusted to the 
guardianship of Israel. The Israelites did not pro- 
duce them. They only received them. And the 
third thing he shows in these short words is that in 
this consisted the sum and substance of all their 
privileges and advantages — that these holy Scrip- 
tures, if they are received by faith and by the bless- 
ing of the Holy Ghost, are the summary of all the 
blessings and privileges which it is the purpose of 
God to bestow upon His chosen ones. 

From the very outset let me remind you of this 
fact, which all of you who are familiar with Scripture 
must have often considered — that with the exception 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 85 

of the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis, 
the book of Job, the book of Proverbs, and the book 
of Ecclesiastes, the rest of the Old Testament is 
occupied entirely with the Jews, — God's deaUngs with 
them, their experiences, the promises which were 
made to them. Tlie whole Old Testament, with the 
exception of the very few sections which I have 
enumerated, deals. exclusively with the Jews. When 
we come to the books of the New Covenant we find 
that the four gospels have to do exclusively with the 
Jews, and with the manifestation of Jehovah in the 
person of Jesus in the midst of them. The book of 
Acts, in the first chapters, has to do exclusively with 
the Jews when the Gospel was first preached in 
Jerusalem and in Judaea. And afterwards, although 
it goes to the Gentiles, yet never for a single mo- 
ment does it leave out of sight Israel, and the very 
concluding chapter of the book of Acts shows us the 
apostle Paul in Ronie testifying to the Jews that he 
alleged none other things than those which Moses 
and the prophets had testified. And even in the 
epistles we never lose sight of the Jews, for as I 
have already referred to the epistle to the Romans, 
I beg you to notice the significance and importance 
of this instance. Here, if anywhere, you might have 
expected that the apostle Paul, speaking to the 
whole world before the dispensation of the times of 
the Gentiles, would leave out of sight Israel, and 
that if he did produce Israel it would only be as a 
preparation, as a scaffolding that was to be removed 
as soon as the building could be exhibited. But in 
this world-wide epistle, in this, the epistle of the 
Gentiles, the apostle devotes three chapters to the 
subject of the Jews, for it was an integral part of 



86 THE JEWS —AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

the whole counsel of God which he had to give to 
the Church, and his great anxiety was lest the Gen- 
tile Church should be ignorant concerning this mys- 
tery. And therefore we find that in the book of the 
Apocalypse we return again to the Jews. So all 
Scripture brings before you the Jews embodied in 
everything that is important and essential for our 
salvation, connected with the holy purposes of God 
which have not yet been fully realised. And this 
fact alone shows to us that an exposition of Scrip- 
ture in which the Jews do not form an integral part 
is not a correct transcript of the mind of the Spirit. 
It is perfectly true that everything that happened to 
the Jews was typical and illustrative of their spiritual 
truths and experiences — and for your edification that 
through their examples and encouragements you 
might be helped upon your way heavenward, but the 
symbolical and typical character of that history does 
not in the slightest degree interfere with the actual 
historical reality of it, and with its being the begin- 
ning of the future which is yet before us. You are 
perfectly right, dear Gentile Christians, when you 
apply to yourselves all the promises that God gave to 
His people Israel, that He would never leave them 
or forsake them, and that, through all their chastise- 
ments. He would bring them in safety and give them 
glory. But only think for a moment that if God 
did not keep these promises to the people, to whom 
He had given them in the first instance, what encour- 
agement would there be for you to believe that He 
would keep them to you who, only by inference, are 
able to take them unto yourselves. 

And the second point about the Scriptures is this. 
These oracles of God refer to such a larcre extent to 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 87 



the Jews that they were all written by Jews. 
Pharaoh had a dream. Joseph alone could interpret 
it. Nebuchadnezzar had a vision. Daniel alone 
could interpret it. Israel is the prophetic nation 
chosen by God for that purpose, and therefore all 
the writers of Scripture, not even Luke, the beloved 
physician, excepted, bclonijed to the chosen people. 
" What advantage, then, hath the Jew ? " Much, 
every way, chiefly because unto them were com- 
mitted the oracles of God. 

But think not that I am going to praise the 
Jews. I only wish to glorify God, and I only 
wish to show, that by sovereign election God 
appointed them to be the recipients and the 
vehicles of divine treasures. The oracles were 
entrusted to them. Some modern writers have 
tried to account for the peculiarity of the Old 
Testament by the peculiarities of the Shemitic 
race, and have taught us that there was some- 
thing in the Shemitic race which peculiarly fitted 
them to think of eternal, sublime, and great sub- 
jects. The election of Shem was before the elec- 
tion of Abraham, and if there were any peculiari- 
ties in the Shemitic race, which in any way were in 
accordance or in harmony with what was afterwards 
to be entrusted to them, I know not. He who is 
the Creator and the God of nature is also the 
Redeemer, and if there were any such peculiarities, 
this is not contrary to what is taught us in Scripture, 
— but much better is it for us to look at facts and 
not at speculations. Israel did not find God. God 
found Israel. Monotheism made the Jews, the 
Jews did not make it. This is the great peculiarity 
of the Scriptures and of the Jewish nation — that in 



88 THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

them we find something entirely different from what 
we see in other nations. There is an influence from 
above. Yes, with regard to all other nations you 
can account for their religion by their peculiarities. 

In the Greeks, conscience was entirely subor- 
dinated to the sense of the beautiful, as Ruskin 
says, " The poets and the philosophers of Greece 
made the religion of Greece." In the Romans, the 
state was everything, and their whole religion had 
only one purpose — very subservient to the strength 
and interest of the commonwealth. In the east, in 
India and Persia, religion was nothing but meta- 
physical speculation of a pantheistic kind, clothed in 
ceremonies and forms. It had no God ; it had no 
eternity. As was the nation, so was the religion. 
But we cannot say that as was Israel so was the 
religion, because Israel's religion came down from 
God. 

And what did it find ? It found a stubborn and 
a stiff-necked nation. Idolatry was in their heart, 
as it is in the heart of all human beings. No sooner 
had they been brought out of the land of Egypt 
than they worshipped the golden calf. Centuries 
after, when the apostasy of Israel came, there 
was a calf again, " These be thy gods which 
brought thee out of Egypt." In the wilderness, as 
the prophet says, they sacrificed unto Remphan and 
other gods. During the period of the Jews and of 
the kings their tendency was continually to idolatry, 
and the testimony of the prophets was against this 
idolatrous inclination which manifested itself in two 
ways — either that they worshipped other gods, or 
that they worshipped Jehovah in a heathenish form 
which God had forbidden. 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 89 

How did Israel meet this religion then ? It was 
only through the great and sad experiences of the 
captivity, that the tendency to idolatry was driven 
out of the nation. God entrusted the oracles to 
Israel, and therefore Moses and the prophets wrote 
by inspiration. They were not the product of their 
age. They were not the exponents of their nation. 
They were the exponents of the chosen among the 
nation who had been taught by the Spirit of God, 
and these chosen ones of the nation as well as the 
prophets received all from above, from the Lord 
God Most High. 

Therefore is the Scripture such a wonderful book, 
and therefore are all those fanciful theories, about 
the books of Moses having been fabricated after the 
exile, utterly void of common sense, — as will appear 
still further from the next point. There is no other 
nation on the face of the earth that could have been 
induced to preserve books which so pictured their 
unthankfulness, their constant apostasies, comparing 
them with the other nations of the world and saying 
in effect, " You are worse than any other nation — less ' 
loyal to me than the other nations are to their false 
gods." If we read the five books of Moses from 
beginning to end how do they furnish a continuous 
picture of the wickedness and ingratitude of Israel ? 1 
and so with the other historical books. What does 
the prophet Isaiah say ? " We should have been 
like Sodom and Gomorrah if the Lord had not 
left a small remnant in the midst of us." And 
what do all the prophets say to Israel ? " Be not as 
your fathers." Where is the nation which would 
have preserved for centuries such a record testifying 
against themselves ? " There is nothing good in 



90 THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

Israel. Do not imagine that I have chosen you 
because you are better than the other nations. It 
was my sovereign love, and my love for Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob." That is the work of God's grace 
in them. Had such a record been artificially made, 
centuries upon centuries after the histories had taken 
place, it would not have been received. What an 
extraordinary thing it is that the Jews who killed 
the prophets and stoned them that were sent unto' 
them, did not dare to touch the written records of 
their lives and all their testimonies, — nay, they 
reverenced those records and they looked upon them 
as the testimony sent to them by the Most High. 
The lively oracles were entrusted to them. Pascal 
says most truly as well as most pithily : " The 
sincerity with which the Jews have preserved their 
Scriptures is without parallel among the nations, 
and has its root not in nature," for Pascal knew the 
doctrine of election and of grace and saw that it was 
God and God only who had so ordered it. 

But let us look now at the Scriptures, for as I 
have often said to you before, it is not merely the 
words that were spoken ; it is not merely the events 
that happened ; it is all these, selected and arranged 
by the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and incorporated 
in a book. Let me remind you briefly of how often 
God commanded the things to be written. In the 
book of Exodus after the victory of Amalek, Moses 
was commanded to write it in the book, and in that 
same book of Exodus he tells us that he wrote the 
words that the Lord had spoken in the book. In 
the book of Numbers we are told that he wrote the 
wanderings of Israel in a book. In Deuteronomy 
we are told that the future king was to keep the 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 91 

book of the law and that he was to read and 
meditate on it; and in that same book of Deuter- 
onomy, when God gives a song to Moses for the 
children of Israel, in which their whole future down 
to the coming of the great Deliverer is described, 
Moses was commanded to write it in the book. This 
book was to be kept by the priest, and every seven 
years it was to be read to the people. Joshua was 
^o write his experiences in a book, adding it to the 
books which already existed. So was Samuel 
commanded to write, — and he laid it before the Lord. 
That shows that it was not a mere human book, an 
ordinary literary production, but that it was holy 
unto the Lord. Then we find that the first seventy- 
two psalms have been collected together, and we read 
afterwards " the prayers of David the son of Jesse 
are ended," and afterwards we find that there were 
further collections of psalms in the days of Hczekiah. 
All these commandments which are given for writing 
of the books show us the purpose of God. The 
prophet Isaiah refers to the book of the law in which 
the people were to read, and to the prophet Isaiah 
God said that he was to write upon tables and then 
to put the writing into a book in order that it might 
continue from generation to generation. You re- 
member how Jeremiah, after the roll, which by the 
command of the Lord he had written, had been 
destroyed by King Jehoiakim, was commanded by 
God to write another roll, and to put all the former 
prophecies in it, and others which were added, show- 
ing the special punishment of Jehoiakim. And you 
remember how the prophet Habakkuk was told by 
God that he was to write distinctly upon tables, so 
distinctly, that he who ran might be able to read. ^ 




92 7'HE/EWS—AS CUS7VDIANS AND WITNESSES 

There is one fact that I must refer to here, 
namely, that in the reign of King Josiah there was 
found the roll of the book that had been neglected 
for a long time, and some critics from this draw the 
inference, that this law could not have existed all 
these centuries and then gone into oblivion. It is 
very strange that modern writers tell us so em- 
phatically what could not possibly have been. Surely 
it is much better to ask historians to tell us what 
could have been, because it has actually happened. 
What must occur to every one immediately as per- 
fectly parallel to this, is the history of Scripture for 
many centuries, during the Middle Ages. When 
Martin Luther first began to think on the subject, 
he imagined that the whole Scripture was con- 
tained in the gospels and epistles and other extracts 
which were in use in the devotional books of the 
priesthood. And so it happened in the history of 
Israel ; Israel was a disobedient nation, and there 
were ages in which there was no fear of God, and 
no earnest desire for God, except among very few. 
When we come to the days of Ezra and of Nehemiah 
we see that a great effort was made to collect all the 
books which up to that period were in existence, and 
to form them into one collection. Thus we find the 
testimony of the books of the Maccabees to this 
collection as containing the five books of Moses and 
the historical books to the end of the books of Kings 
and parts of the Psalms and Proverbs, and afterwards 
the rest of the books which, after the return of Israel 
from the captivity to their own land, were gathered 
together, as we also read in the book of the Maccabees. 
This remains certain — that, according to the com- 
mandment of God, all the books that we possess were 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 93 

gradually added and afterwards collected, and, 300 
years before our era, existed among the Jews as the 
only authoritative sacred collection of books, and it 
is a very remarkable thing that the Jews had never 
any doubt about these books. The Jews possessed 
literature of every kind. You know the books of the 
wars and other books are mentioned in the course of 
our Scriptures — historical and poetical records of 
battles and of events that took place. You know 
also that Solomon wrote thousands of proverbs and 
also books on natural science, as we would call it, and 
songs ; and in the book of Ecclesiastes there occurs 
the expression that there is no end of making books. 
But out of a very large or comparatively large litera- 
ture they selected these books in regard to which 
the apostle Paul uses the expression in the epistle to 
Timothy " Holy books," that is to say, books which 
belonged to God and were separated unto Him. And 
as for the Apocrypha, the Apocrypha never pretends 
to be on a level with the other Scripture. On the 
contrary it speaks of all the other Scriptures with 
the greatest reverence, as a great treasure which God 
had given to Israel, and it speaks of itself with great 
moderation. And, besides, the Apocryphal books 
contain many stories which are evidently legends, 
the character of which is entirely different from those 
miraculous records that we have in holy Scripture. 
The Apocrypha is not of the .slightest interest as 
a link between the Old Testament and the New 
Testament, either historically or theologically, for 
where the Old Testament ends, there, and nowhere 
else, does the New Testament begin. The Old 
Testament ends in the book of Malachi — " I will send 
a forerunner before my face." And the New Testa- 



94 THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

mcnt history virtually begins, "There was a man sent 
from God, whose name was John." Neither was there 
any development in doctrine or in prophecy. These 
books are interesting indeed, but they are not at all 
an organic part of the Scripture, nay, they contain 
things which are contrary to the Scripture. They 
are entirely on a human or lower level. And there- 
fore the Jews never for a single w^;//^;// acknowledged 
them as belonging to the canon. 

One thing is interesting to notice in the Apocry- 
phal books. They mourn that there has been no 
prophet in Israel for a long time. One wonderful 
thing is this — not merely that God protected his 
faithful people against the temptations to lose 
their nationality and to accommodate themselves 
to the Greeks, and that he protected them in the 
hour of danger, but that during all this period when 
Israel was full of valour and courage, when the heroic 
spirit was strong in Israel, there is not a single in- 
stance of a false Messiah, because, according to the 
prophecy of Daniel, during these 400 years, Messiah 
was not to appear, — and no sooner was the prophecy 
at an end as to the time, than the Jews were all in 
expectation of the Messiah, and the Messiah appeared 
in Jesus. 

But now I must say a few words about the state 
of the Jews in the days of our Saviour. They had 
the Scriptures. The testimony of Josephus is well 
known to all. I shall not read it to you, because 
you can easily refer to it. He says that the Jews 
possessed twenty- two books of Scripture, the five 
books of Moses, historical books, four books of 
hymns to God, and proverbs teaching about the 
conduct of life and the prophetic books, and he says 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND JVITNESSES 95 

that none has ever dared to add to them, or to take 
away anything from them, and that the Apocryphal 
books although interesting were never added to 
them, and that they looked upon the Scriptures as 
divine. After the Babylonish captivity the whole 
energy of Israel went into the Scriptures — the law 
which God had given them by Moses to preserve, to 
keep, to defend. But alas, this veneration for the 
Scriptures became a false veneration. Here, indeed, 
we may speak of bibliolatry, of the worship of the 
book apart from the living God. They imagined 
that the whole five books of Moses had come down 
from heaven to Moses, — some said on one day, some 
said at different periods. 

Now they confused the written Word of God, who t^\^ 
was with them from all eternity, and they spoke with 
the utmost blasphemy of God so delighting in the 
five books of Moses as to read them every day. They 
identified that which was to be a channel through 
which God speaks to them with the living God. 
And then there came necessarily the misunderstanding 
of the law. The Bible, when it becomes a dead book 
apart from the living God, is converted into a mere 
spell ? It is frittered away by petty ingenuities, as 
by the scribes in the time of Christ. It is now the 
reign of casuists. The spiritual meaning of the law 
evaporates, the whole system of self-righteousness is 
wrought out. 

The prophets had a twofold object. First, they 
showed the nation that the law is spiritual, and that 
outward observance did not satisfy God, and that 
therefore the object of the law was that people should 
repent and should long after a Saviour, and then the 
prophets pointed out to them the Saviour ; but when 



96 THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

people are self-righteous they do not want God's 
righteousness, and when they are whole they need 
not a physician, and when they keep the law, and, 
like the old Jews and many other people, imagine 
they can keep even more than the law, so that they 
have works of supererogation, the voice of prophecy 
with its beautiful consolation and announcement of 
the atonement has no charms. And therefore there 
was a strange thing when our blessed Jesus came. 
The Jews believed Scripture to be God's Word ; 
Jesus believed the Scripture to be the Word of God ; 
but between those two there was enmity. The Jews 
rejected Jesus. Jesus testified against the Jews. 
The testimony of Jesus against the Jews was this, 
" You have not the Word of God in you, and there- 
fore you are not able to believe who I am ; I am 
sent unto you from God the Father. If the Scrip- 
tures lived within you, you would recognise my 
countenance, and you would hear my voice." But 
what a strange tragedy happened here — a warning 
to professing Christians who may reverence the Bible 
and fight about the Bible, and yet to whom the 
Bible instead of being a thing to help them to God, 
becomes an obstacle that keeps them from God. 
Just as they misrepresented the Sabbath, in regard to 
which their tradition made void the commandments 
of God. 

But even the traditions, which were not committed 
to paper for eight centuries, were intended only to 
reverence the Bible, and the reason why, from the 
time of the great synagogue, it was forbidden to 
write any other tradition, was lest the commentary and 
the tradition should be confused with the written 
Word of God, the oracles that were committed to 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 97 

them. So even in their sin and in their tradition 
which was contrary to the mind of God, God kept 
them faithful and loyal as conservators of the Word. 
A poor nation indeed to guard the treasure that He 
had entrusted to their care ! 

But there were Israelites who did hear the voice 
of God in the Scriptures. First of all there was 
John the Baptist, who reverberated Isaiah and 
Malachi and the ist Psalm, and all the declarations 
of Moses and the prophets. There was the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, who had imbibed the songs of David 
and the predictions of the fathers. There was the 
priest Zacharias who was waiting for the horn of 
salvation to rise in the house of God's servant David. 
There were aged Simeon and Anna, and what were 
they feeding on ? The Word of God was in them. 
And what was that Word of God ? " Comfort ye, 
comfort ye my people," saith your God, " and speak 
to the heart of Jerusalem, and say to the cities of 
Judah, ' behold your God.' " They were waiting 
for the consolation of Israel. 

And when the blessed Jesus came, those to whom 
the Scripture was a living Word, although they may 
have been comparatively ignorant, understood His 
voice. It was the same voice again. " Blessed are 
the poor in spirit, blessed are they that mourn, 
blessed are the meek." Why was it that those first 
disciples, when they first saw Jesus, said immediately, 
" We have found the Messiah of whom Moses and 
the prophets did write " ? Very few prophecies had 
been fulfilled all that time. Perhaps they did not 
know of any that had as yet been fulfilled. The 
Word was in them through the Scripture, and the 
Word which was before them appealed unto their 

H 



9S THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

minds. Jesus Himself did not go to their schools. 
They were astonished at His exposition of Scripture 
because He had not been taught in their letters, 
their comments, and their traditions, just as people 
nowadays think that unless people are great in 
philology and in criticism and in history, they 
cannot understand the Bible. But Jesus was the 
only one who ever understood the whole of the 
Old Testament. People that are ignorant are ex- 
cluded from these learned investigations, but Jesus 
gave understanding to the simple. To Him belonged 
the key of David, and He opened unto them the 
Scriptures. But poor Israel ? Do not think that 
the Pharisees were all hypocrites. They were all in 
danger of becoming hypocrites, and some of them 
were hypocrites, but many of them were godly, 
religious, earnest men, and they truly reverenced the 
Scriptures, and had a zeal for God, but no great 
knowledge, and went about establishing their own 
righteousness. When Jesus told them in the parable 
that the kingdom would be taken away from them 
and given to others, they said, " God forbid," and it 
came out of their deep soul. " God forbid." And 
they fulfilled the prophecies by rejecting Jesus. So 
it had been predicted, as in the 1 1 8th Psalm : " The 
stone which the builders rejected"; 5 3rd chapter of 
Isaiah : " He was despised and rejected of men " ; 
iith chapter of Zechariah, "Thirty pieces of silver 
they weighed for my hire." All that was fulfilled in 
Jesus. As the apostle Paul says in the book of 
Acts, the Jews, thinking that in doing their own 
will and purpose they were doing according to 
God's will, were only fulfilling the prophecies. 

And now perhaps some one will Say, " But what 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 99 

becomes of the Old Testament scriptures ? What 
becomes of that whole preparation which for thousands 
of years God has given to His nation ? " The 
Scripture was fulfilled in Jesus, and let me say that 
all that was predicted of the Jews in the future was 
also fulfilled in Jesus, for the promises were all made 
unto Him, and the rights that the Jews have in the land 
of Canaan arise from the covenant which God made 
with Abraham ; but Christ is the actual instalment 
of the possession. And the Old Testament scrip- 
tures were, by the apostles, planted not merely among 
the believing Jews where they already were in exist- 
ence, but among all the Gentiles who embraced the 
faith which is in Christ Jesus. But Israel as a 
nation is preserved. If all Jews had accepted Jesus 
as the Messiah their testimony would have been 
regarded as partial ; but because the Scriptures 
which contain the picture of Jesus remain in the hands 
of the Jews who have rejected Jesus, none can gainsay 
their witness ; and if all the Jews had been destroyed, 
the witnesses for Jesus would have been absent. 
So God has ordered it in His infinite wisdom. 

But look for a moment at Israel according to the 
flesh. You know the grief and sorrow which the 
apostle Paul felt on account of Israel. Jerusalem 
was dark, and all the different parties were intriguing 
and scheming and thinking that they would be able 
by statesmanship, and by conciliation, to steer 
calmly and quietly. Services went on as usual in 
the temple, but the word of judgment had already 
gone forth, and the destruction of Jerusalem and of 
the temple had already been predicted by the Lord ; 
and to a spiritually-minded man like the apostle 
Paul, although the judgment had not yet taken place 



loo THE JEWS — AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

outwardly, the judgment had ah'eady taken place in 
reality. They hardened themselves against Stephen ; 
they hardened themselves against the declaration of 
the apostles. They continued in their unbelief. The 
judgment was surely coming. The guilt was upon 
them — greater guilt than any they had previously 
incurred. And not merely was that guilt upon them, 
that guilt which alone can account for their eighteen 
hundred years' dispersion, — but their spiritual condi- 
tion was ripening fast into that state in which it has 
remained ever since. And not only so, but the poli- 
tical complications were also maturing, for although 
Israel committed this great sin against God and 
against Jesus Christ, they did not fall away from 
God. They still had a zeal for God. They still 
preferred to die rather than to worship idols. They 
were still waiting with all sincerity, and praying with 
all fervour. It was not like a nation that had become 
frivolous and idolatrous. When the nations of 
Europe fall away, most likely they may fall away 
into bottomless infidelity, but Israel never fell into 
this, great as their guilt was. Therefore did the 
apostle Paul weep for Israel, God's people, to whom 
pertained the adoption. He made them His 
children, and as His people He brought them out of 
Egypt and instructed them, as a father dealeth with 
his child. And to them belonged the glory, not the 
glory of weapons or the glory of science, but the 
glory that Jehovah had chosen them, and that He 
would be in the midst of them. And to them belonged 
the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
and afterwards. And to them belonged the law, 
the ten commandments written by God Himself 
upon the tables of stone. And to them belonged the 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES loi 

beautiful worship, the tabernacle with its Holy and 
Holy of Holies ; and to them belonged the fathers. 
Oh think only for a moment of the fathers. Think 
of Abraham who was called the Friend of God, who 
received the promise in faith, nothing doubting, who 
was ready to give up Isaac, knowing that he would 
receive him back again from the dead, and of Jacob 
who wrestled with God and was called a prince, and 
of Moses, by Whom Israel went out of Egypt, and to 
whom there were given the ordinances of the law, 
and who was a mediator between God and the Jews. 
And think of all the warriors and judges, strong men 
and fervent, who did not yield to the masses, but 
were loyal to the Most High, and were contented 
with three hundred who chose to obey God, rather 
than with vast numbers. The stars in the heavens 
were fighting in their favour — the sword of Jehovah 
and of Gideon — they kept the people in discipline 
by the Word of the Most High. 

And think of all those sweet singers and psalmists 
that poured out their souls in songs and melodies, 
and thanksgivings and praises ; or of those prophets, 
pillars of light who were in communion with the 
omniscient mind, to whom a thousand years are but 
as one day. They heard the distant thunder of 
God's judgments and they were afraid. They saw 
the beautiful countenance of Immanuel and they 
poured forth words of consolation. And think of 
the martyrs that were not afraid of the lion or of the 
edge of the sword, or of the violence of the fiery 
furnace, of devoted children and loving mothers, and 
fathers of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, 
who is God over all, blessed for ever ! And this is 
the nation whom God had to chasten in His sore 



I02 7^BE JEIVS—AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 

displeasure. Jerusalem was destroyed. The temple, 
which was the very breath of their nostrils, was laid 
bare in the dust, and Israel itself became cursed among 
all the nations. 

Hei-e I must conclude with but one remark. See 
then this nation. How many have wept over Israel ; 
for, whose sorrow can be compared, as it says in the 
book of Lamentations, with the sorrow of Jerusalem ? 
Your poet has said " The wild dove hath a nest, the 
fox its cave, mankind its country : Israel but the 
grave." Oh no, and a thousand times no. Israel 
has the Scripture, and this Scripture it is which has 
kept Israel .alive, up to this day. Different from 
all other nations Israel has the Scripture, and when- 
ever the Holy Ghost breathes upon them, they shall 
behold Jesus to whom Moses and the prophets have 
testified. For the future is still before them, and 
that future which is spoken of by the mouth of all 
the holy prophets, even from the beginning. 

I have often thought of that triumphal arch of 
Titus which was erected after the destruction of 
Jerusalem. There it still stands in Rome, and on 
that arch you "can see represented the captive Jews 
and the seven-branched candlestick of the temple 
and the table of shewbread, and in front the great 
emperor and conqueror Titus, There is another 
triumphal arch which the apostle Paul has also 
erected right among the Romans — the epistle to the 
Romans, from the 9th chapter to the i ith, — and on 
this arch it is written, " all Israel shall be saved." 
And in all this the Scripture, partly fulfilled unto us 
already, will show forth its truth and its steadfastness 
unto the ages to come, for as the prophet said that 
there will be yet in the streets of Jerusalem children 



THE JEWS— AS CUSTODIANS AND WITNESSES 103 



playing and making merry, so all the chapters of the 
Old Testament will shine forth with renewed vitality 
and beauty when the Lord shall visit His children 
and shall fulfil His word, and when all ends of the 
earth shall see together the salvation of our God. 
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who alone doth 
great wonders, and blessed be His glorious name, and 
let all the earth be filled with His glory. Amen. 



VI 



ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION— AN EVIDENCE OF 
THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 

Israel since the dispersion — A witness for the truth of prophecy — A 
witness in a negative way — Preserved in a wonderful manner, 
physically and spiritually — No human wisdom could have fore- 
seen this — Prophets interested in all nations — The preparation by 
conquests of Alexander — The Hellenic Jews — Scattering of Israel 
after Christ — Kept together by the Scriptures — Israel a witness 
for God during all these centuries as in the Sabbath, in the 
Festivals, the Passover, the Day of Atonement — Observance of the 
law of Moses — Their peculiar position, a nation among nations 
• — Nothing similar — Hegel's view of Israel — The insoluble problem 
— Their formal view of the law — Their Messianic expectations given 
up — Their abstract ideas of God — Worldlinessand infidelity — Their 
stale runs parallel with prophecy — Their restoration certain by 
prophecy — Prophecy a stereotyped miracle — The Jews do not 
know the reasons of the judgments — The veil will be removed — 
The coming of the Lord. 

My subj'ect this morning is : Israel since the dis- 
persion a witness for the truth of the history and 
prophecy of Holy Scripture. 

With the captivity in Babylon begins a period of 
the history of the kingdom of God which still con- 
tinues, and which shall only end at the second 
coming of our Lord. Why is the evangelist Luke 
so anxious to impress upon us that the birth of Jesus 
took place under the reign of Caesar Augustus, 



ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION 105 

emperor of Rome ? Why is Pontius Pilate mentioned 
in the creed ? In order that it may be impressed upon 
us that the sceptre had indeed departed from Judah, 
and that it was under the fourth world -monarchy 
that Jesus the new-born King of the Jews appeared. 
But the times of the Gentiles appeared more clearly 
after the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion 
of Israel among all nations. This is the expression 
that our blessed Saviour Himself used, that during the 
times of the Gentiles Jerusalem was to be trodden 
under foot. And during this period, we behold Israel 
under the displeasure of God, spiritually blind, 
scattered among all nations of the earth, and yet still 
in allegiance to God, and God still regarding them 
and watching over them with favour ; whereas, on 
the other hand, we see the Church consisting both of 
Jews and Gentiles, knowing the name of the Triune, 
and going forth in the name of Jesus among all the 
nations of the world, yet themselves a little flock. 
And as Israel was opposed to and separated from 
all the nations, the Church is a witness against the 
world — a witnessing body, and a suffering body, 
until it at last shall please God to give it the 
kingdom. 

Israel is a witness for the truth in a negative way. 
The Church of Christ is a witness for the truth in a 
positive way. Only omniscience could have foreseen 
and foretold the wonderful and complicated methods 
which divine providence was to take in carrying out 
the counsel of the Most High. That the Messiah, 
after many centuries of preparation, should come to 
Israel to be rejected, and that their rejection of the 
Messiah should not end their history, but only retard 
it for a number of centuries, while it gave opportunity 



io6 ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION— 

and time of working, to another portion of the divine 
counsel, if it be possible still more sublime and more 
mysterious, — none but prophets sent by God Him- 
self could ever have foretold. 

Very clear, indeed, is the prediction, as for 
instance in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, that the 
time was coming when Israel would have their 
eyes open to see that the man, whom they rejected 
and whom they thought to be an enemy of God and 
afflicted by God, was an innocent and spotless Lamb, 
and that His death was an atonement and expiation 
for their sins. Equally clear is the testimony of 
Zechariah that the final conversion, repentance, and 
glorification of Israel would be connected, not with 
the acceptance of the Messiah at the first advent, but 
with the acceptance of a rejected Messiah, when they 
shall look upon Him whom they had pierced. And 
how mysterious and inexplicable was the prediction of 
Daniel, that the founder of the fifth monarchy which 
was to last for ever was the Son of Man, who would 
come, not out of Bethlehem as Micah had predicted, 
but from the throne above, and with the clouds of 
heaven. How remarkable is it, and quite different 
from any imagination of man, that God, when He 
sent Jesus the first time, fulfilled most clearly the 
predictions which had been given by the prophets, 
and yet in such a way that the fulfilment by no means 
compelled faith but remained a test and trial to Israel 
whether, so to speak, the kingdom of God was con- 
genial to them ; and therefore, although they fully 
believed in the whole of Scripture, they did not feel 
themselves shut up to the reception of Jesus. 
" Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself" In all 
revelations of God there is still an element of dark- 



AN EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 107 

ness, in order that faith may be tested. And so 
Jesus Himself predicted to Jerusalem, summing up 
their whole past history, that they who had killed 
the prophets, and stoned them that were sent to 
them, were now at last to receive the recompense of 
their evil deeds, that their house should be left to 
them desolate because they had not understood the 
time of their visitation. But yet not for ever did He 
part with them. He held out the bright and glorious 
hope that they would see Him again, and not merely 
with the eyes of the body, but also with the eyes of 
faith, welcoming Him as the Blessed One in the name 
of the Lord. 

See, then, the Old Testament predictions, and the 
New Testament predictions tested most clearly, in the 
light of fact, by the history of the last eighteen cen- 
turies, that Israel rejected Jesus, — that God gave up 
Israel to banishment and punishment, yet loving 
them and being faithful to the covenant which he 
had made, — that this nation is preserved in a most 
wonderful way both physically and spiritually for 
the fulfilment of those predictions which are inwoven, 
in the Old Testament, with the predictions of the 
first advent. The apostle Paul, long before Jeru- 
salem was destroyed, like all spiritual men, saw that 
the end had already set in, and therefore he uses the 
expression with regard to the Jews that the wrath 
had come upon them to the uttermost, — for in reality 
when Jesus died upon the cross and when the veil 
of the temple was rent in twain there was already 
spiritually decided what was to be the history of 
Israel. The guilt of rejecting Christ, the guilt of 
rejecting the testimony of the apostles remained 
upon the nation. The spiritual self-righteousness 



io8 ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION — 

and blindness only increased, and still as they were 
loyal to God, and abhorred all idolatry, and 
wished to obey the commandments of God, the 
conflict with Rome could not in any way be 
modified, and so the destruction of Jerusalem 
was only the outward and historical manifestation 
of the inward and spiritual facts which had already 
taken place. 

But what a wonderful thing it is that Israel, God's 
people, should be scattered among all the nations of 
the earth. Let me speak plainly on this subject. What 
a strange thing it is, that after God for centuries and 
centuries had (to speak foolishly) done His utmost to 
separate Israel, in one corner of the world, from all 
the nations of the earth, for that was the whole 
system of God with Israel, He should then take this 
nation and scatter them among all the peoples of 
the world ! It is quite true that for 400 years 
He allowed them to be in Egypt, and there, when 
they were in Egypt being brought into contact 
with the most civilised nation of antiquity, they in 
many respects matured most rapidly in the things 
pertaining to this life. But during those four cen- 
turies they in no wise amalgamated with Egypt, for 
they being shepherds were an abomination to the 
Egyptians ; and the Egyptians, who in every respect 
were exactly the opposite of what God had taught 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were also an abomination 
unto Israel ; so there they were in Egypt and yet 
separated from Egypt. Forty years He insulated 
them in the wilderness to keep them all to Himself, 
and as it were to show them that they were a nation 
entirely separated unto God. When He brought 
them into their own land He gave them every 



AN EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 109 

possible instruction that they were not to adopt 
the customs of the nations that they still found 
there, and that they were to be very resolute in 
exterminating those nations ; and He gave them a 
law which in every respect separated them from the 
rest of the world, — for the strict prohibition of idolatry 
in every form and shape was like a wall of fire round 
Israel. All their regulations about their food and their 
vestments and their daily life showed them, and 
impressed upon them day by day, that they were a 
nation set apart unto the Lord. And the very 
country into which He brought them was altogether 
sufficient for itself It was separated from all the 
rest of the world by the mountain ranges, by the 
Mediterranean Sea, by the large deserts on the south 
and south-east. It possessed everything that they 
required for their sustenance, for it was an exceedingly 
fertile land, so that there was no inducement for 
them to go out in the way of commerce, — and com- 
merce God discouraged in every possible way among 
the Jews. They were to take no interest upon 
money, which at once paralysed the idea of com- 
mercial speculation ; nor was it according to the 
idea of God that people were to amass large capitals, 
so that neither by commerce were they to have 
intercourse with other nations, nor was there to be in 
them any desire of aggrandisement or of warfare. 
When afterwards God gave them David their king, 
and Jerusalem their centre, and the temple where 
was His habitation, it was said to Israel, " Oh happy 
people, be content: here I have planted you. You 
are a nation of twelve tribes, descendants of twelve 
brothers. There never was a nation so compact 
together as you are. Love one another and walk 



ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION- 



before me, and Jerusalem shall be your centre, and 
David the man after my heart, and the sons of 
David, shall be your kings and your leaders." 

But I have not said everything yet. When pro- 
phecy looks forward to the days of the future, even 
then it regards Israel as being settled in their own 
country not to leave it, and as having Jerusalem as 
their centre and Mount Zion as their centre ; and 
the influence that they are to exert upon the rest of 
the world is not by aggressiveness but by attractive- 
ness. As long as the world stands Zion and Jeru- 
salem are to remain Zion and Jerusalem, and are the 
centre. The nations are to go up there. The Jews 
are not to go from Zion and Jerusalem to the nations. 
God's great idea for all times is not that Israel should 
be scattered, but that Israel should be concentrated 
in their own land, and that Jerusalem should be ' a 
centre of all religious and national life throughout 
the whole earth. And then He takes them — destroys 
Jerusalem and the temple, and scatters them among 
all the nations of the earth. 

Now is there not here something wonderful ? No 
human wisdom could have foreseen such a paradox. 
It is so paradoxical that it is astonishing that people 
are not more struck and perplexed by this problem, 
but it is simply because they do not believe the Bible 
literally ; and in no other way can it be believed. 

But there, is another aspect of this which makes 
it still more complicated. God had not said to the 
Jews, " I have chosen you, and you only, and I have 
given you this country, and I have given you the 
temple. Now walk before me." But He said to 
them, " I have chosen you only as my first-born, I 
want to bless the nations of the earth. You must 



AN EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY in 

not think that I have chosen you for your sake alone. 
Yqu must be interested in all the idolaters of the 
world. You must pray that My light may visit the 
distant islands. You must have a world-wide heart. 
You must sing : 

All people that on earth do dwell, 
Sing- to the Lord with cheerful voice. 

You must look forward to this as the great glory 
— My great glory and your great glory too — that all 
ends of the earth shall have the same privileges, and 
shall have the same joy which I have given to you." 

Therefore God never allowed the Jews to think 
for a moment that He was only the God of the Jews. 
The prophets are interested in all the nations by 
whom Israel was surrounded, — and now comes the 
preparation for the dispersion. The first preparation 
I spoke about in my first lecture- — the adaptation of 
the Greek language through the empire of Alexander 
the Great — how it was brought to the Jews, and how 
the Jews w^ere brought into the Graeco-Macedonian 
empire and adopted the Greek language ; and owing 
to this there arose a new kind of Jewish population, 
the Hellenistic population, who, though they were 
loyal to the God of their fathers, yet were acquainted 
with the language and the culture of Greece, and 
thus became accustomed to think of the spread of 
the knowledge of Jehovah among all nations. 

And, besides, there was another preparation. 
There could only be one temple in Palestine, 
which is a very important fact, and contains a 
very important doctrine ; but although there was 
only one temple in Palestine there could be as many 
synagogues as it pleased the Jews to erect, for 



ISRAEL SINCE THE DISTERSION- 



wherever a few Israelites chose to gather together 
to worship God, to read the Scriptures, and to 
converse about the Scriptures, there was nothing 
to prevent them from forming a synagogue. And 
therefore those synagogues were all over the country, 
and as you read in the gospels and in the book of 
Acts, they met for worship, and chiefly for the read- 
ing of the Scriptures, and for conversation on what 
God had taught them. And along with this was 
what I tried to explain before — the concentration of 
the whole Jewish religious and intellectual power upon 
the Scripture, and above all, upon the law of Moses. 
Now, when the destruction of Jerusalem came, and 
when thousands and tens of thousands lost their 
lives, and thousands were led into captivity, and 
calamity came upon Israel such as no nation ever 
witnessed, still this nation, notwithstanding all their 
calamity, remained loyal to God, although the blood- 
guiltiness was still upon them ; and nothing ever 
induced them to give up the worship of the one true 
God, or to adapt themselves in any way to the 
idolatry and to the customs of the nations ; and there 
they were, as if nothing had happened, wherever 
God in His providence had brought them, studying 
the Scriptures, rabbis having their disciples round 
them, whom they instructed in the wisdom and in 
the ways of God, meeting for worship every Sabbath 
day, and holding their synagogue service, observing 
the law of Moses with the greatest loyalty and dis- 
interestedness. They did not apostatise from God, 
they did not fall into infidelity. They were not 
swallowed up by despair, and they did not say, 
" Why should we serve God any longer after He 
has thus dealt with us ? " They felt it was on 



AN EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 113 

account of their sins that God had thus dealt with 
them, but with a heroism and faith which does 
remain a marvel throughout all history they con- 
tinued in the old ways. They had the Word of 
God, and that it was that preserved them. Although 
they did not understand it spiritually, although there 
was a veil upon their hearts, still God's Word was 
with them. The ten commandments were heard 
every Sabbath day. The life-giving Word of God 
sounded in their ears. The beautiful narratives of 
their forefathers were familiar to their memory and 
dear to their heart, for the Word of God, even pos- 
sessed outwardly without the spiritual teaching unto 
salvation, is a great power, — and there is no power 
in the world equal to it. 

And so Israel, during all this time, has been a 
witness for God. All their past history is embodied 
in them now. Monuments made of marble and of 
stone are nothing compared with the nation of millions 
for eighteen centuries under the greatest persecutions, 
and in the most diverse circumstances, commemorat- 
ing continually the great facts, that had been wrought 
out for them in the days of old. There is the Sabbath 
Day. Israel up to this hour, every seventh day, keeps 
the day which God had commanded their fathers to 
keep. What a marvellous idea is that observance of 
the Sabbath, Do not think now of the relation of 
the Sabbath to the Lord's Day. Do not think now 
of the Pharisaical Sabbath, which is often called the 
Jewish Sabbath by a great confusion of ideas. It 
was a caricature of the Old Testament Sabbath. But 
think of what you read in God's Word — that God, 
who created all things in six days, on the seventh 
day, on which He rested, having gone out from 

I 



114 ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION— 

Himself into the outward, returns into Himself, 
and takes the whole world with Him that it may- 
rest in His own love. Therefore He hallowed the 
seventh day. To Israel time was not like a wide 
ocean in which there are no divisions, and which is 
measureless and restless, as Milton speal<s of Sab- 
bathless Satan. But to Israel time is articulated. 
God lives with His people. He lives with them, 
while they work for six days. He lives and re- 
joices with them when, on the seventh day, they 
rest before Him. In these days, when people are 
beginning to doubt the first article of the creed, 
what a marvellous testimony is Israel with its 
Sabbath day, because God created the heavens 
and the earth. 

Look at all the festivals that they keep. Look 
at the passover kept in every Jewish family. There 
you will see what happened in the upper chamber 
where Jesus was with His twelve apostles. They 
commemorate the wonderful dealing of God with 
their fathers when He sent ten plagues upon Egypt, 
and when, by the blood of the Lamb, He brought 
them out of the house of bondage. They read 
those chapters of Exodus. They sing hymns of 
praise. They break the unleavened bread and all 
the members of the family partake of it. They 
bless four cups with benedictions ; and one of these 
cups was the cup that Jesus set apart for the Lord's 
Supper. What a marvellous thing is this passover ; 
and the little children among the Jews are very 
excited when the passover draws near. The un- 
leavened bread is brought in, but along with that 
there is also to be a purification, and every vestige 
of leaven wherever it is found, even with childish 



AN EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 115 



scrupulosity, has to be removed from their vestments 
and from their rooms. You remember what the 
apostle says, " Keep the festival not with the old 
leaven of malice and of wickedness " ? There is a 
commentary on that every year, in the houses of 
the Jews. Or shall I remind you of the day 
of atonement when the Jews fast, and humble them- 
selves before God, confessing their sins and believing 
that on that day God absolves them from their sins, 
so that they are able to go on for another year, in 
worship-communion with Him ? Or the festival of 
the weeks and of the New Year } — what wonderful 
mementoes all these are of the facts which took 
place. What else could have made them observe 
them, year after year, and century after century ? 
And as they observe the festivals, so they observe 
the law of Moses ; and it is owing to that law of 
Moses that they are still in existence, for Israel is 
not like many of the other nations. Other nations 
when they have reached as it were their highest 
point, and when they have been living in great 
civilisation and luxury, become effete, on account 
of their immorality and on account of their wicked- 
ness ; but Israel has never become effete. The 
sanctities of family life endure in Israel up to this 
day, owing to the law of Moses — owing to the ten 
commandments — owing to the ordinances which 
God gave to His people and to God Himself watch- 
ing over them. They are physically, as they ever 
were, distinguished by their longevity, distinguished 
by their tenacity and vigour of purpose, distinguished 
by their mental freshness, so that they are able 
to enter into any branch of study or into any 
occupation of life. It is the Word of God that has 



ii6 ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION— 

done this. There is nothing so degrading as to be 
persecuted, as to be mocked, as to be banished 
into one corner of a town, as to be excluded from 
social life. If a nation ever might have become 
altogether degraded and might have dwindled down 
into non-existence, it would have been the Jews ; 
but God in the prophets said that they were never 
to cease as a nation before Him, and He says. 
Even when I shall punish you and banish you 
I will not abhor you. I will never forget the 
covenant I have made with your fathers. I will 
still regard you with favour and preserve you for the 
time when there shall be given unto you repentance. 
There is no analogous fact in history. Nations 
have migrated and, from stress of circumstances, 
sought other countries in which to settle. There 
has been colonisation on large plans. There have 
been other movements which have brought nations 
into different countries ; but then they have become 
amalgamated with the nations among whom they 
have settled, as the French refugees in England. 
There have been also the nomadic tribes of Egyptians 
who are wandering about over the world. But a 
nation like Israel, dispersed over the whole face of 
the earth, keeping their law and separated as a 
community, yet taking an interest, whenever they 
are allowed, in every development of history and of 
mental culture, has never existed. Some of them have 
attempted to forget that they are Jews, but have never 
been allowed in God's providence to do so. As a 
Spanish rabbi said once some centuries ago, " There 
is a blessing on us and there is a curse on us. You 
are trying now to exterminate us and you will not 
succeed, because there is a blessing on us. And the 



AN EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 117 

time is coming when you will try to favour us and 
yon will not succeed, because there is a curse on us." 
Mysterious nation ! read the Old Testament ; read 
the New Testament ; and you will see that what no 
historian can explain is explained by the omniscient 
mind of God. Therefore the great German meta- 
physician Hegel said that the history of the Jews 
was an enigma to him ; he understood the philo- 
sophy of the history of other nations, but here was 
a problem that he could not solve. No man can 
solve it because they are the nation which God has 
set apart — the paradox of the world's history, that 
paradox which finds its solution only in Jesus Christ, 
for as the prophet Hosea said, Many days — a long 
period — the children of Israel shall be without king, 
without priest, without ephod, but at the same time 
without idolatry either public or private. Formerly 
they fell into idolatry. Since their dispersion they 
have not fallen into idolatry. But I must point out 
to you the spiritual deterioration of Israel. I have 
shown you the good points of Israel ; I want to show 
you also the spiritual deterioration of Israel — and 
how this had been likewise predicted. 

The first is this — and here Israel is a witness not 
merely for the Old Testament but for the New 
Testament, for there is no separation between those 
two, — the Jews cling to the Old Testament and 
refuse the interpretation of the New. The Gentiles 
fancy that they can understand the New Testament 
without the Old Testament. Oh, it is perfectly 
impossible. The apostle Paul expounds the Jews 
to us, out of his own experience. " They have a zeal 
for God but without knowledge. They go about 
establishing a righteousness of their own, not submit- 



iiS ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION— 

ting themselves unto the righteousness of God." 
Their attention has become concentrated on the law. 
This is an important point. Both Genesis and the 
prophets are comparatively neglected by the Jews 
for the sake of the law of Moses, and yet the law of 
Moses was only a parenthesis, and it is comparatively 
of less importance than cither the book of Genesis 
or the prophets. Therefore having an outward view 
of the law, and thinking that they can fulfil the law, 
the very purpose of the law has not been fulfilled in 
them. That is, they have no true consciousness of 
sin and no longing for a Saviour. This is the 
difficulty of all ministers with the Jews, as it is the 
difficulty also with the unconverted Gentiles. There 
is no difference. If people do not know that they 
are under the curse of the law and that they are 
guilty in the sight of God, they will have no longing 
for a Saviour. 

The second deterioration is as regards the Messiah. 
The Jews had many false Messiahs. One of their 
greatest men, a renowned Rabbi, and a man in whom 
there is much to admire and even to reverence, 
was a follower of the false Messiah. But after 
the destruction of Jerusalem, when they had no 
certain genealogies, they thought that the only 
way of finding out when the Messiah was coming 
was to examine the dates and times of the pro- 
phecies ; and when they examined these, and the 
people were often disappointed, then the Jewish 
rabbis gave a commandment that there was to 
be no more investigation of the Messianic times, 
because the people were only disappointed. In fact, 
the less they thought about the Messiah the better. 
And then there came a time when all those passages, 



AN EVIDENCE OE THE TRUTH OE PROPHECY 119 

like the 22nd Psalm and the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, 
and many others, which the ancient Jewish inter- 
preters had referred to the Messiah were explained 
away by the Jewish rabbis, because all Christians 
applied them to Jesus, and they were referred to the 
Jewish nation or to some righteous man, — exactly as 
the rationalists have been trying to explain away the 
direct and indirect Mosaic testimony of the Old 
Testament. And then the idea of the Messiah was 
lowered by the Jews, — and whereas formerly in the Old 
Testament it was not an exclusively national idea, 
but the Messiah was to be a light to lighten the 
Gentiles as well as the glory of the people of Israel, 
now the Messiah became to them, so to speak, a 
provincial idea — not a spiritual national idea. 

Last of all — and this is the most important — why 
does the prophet Hosea say, "In the latter days 
Israel shall seek the Lord " ? If I say that of 
heathen nations — " They shall seek the Lord " — it is 
intelligible ; but to say it of the Jews, who are con- 
stantly worshipping God, that they shall seek Jehovah 
seems indeed very strange. And this is the thing 
that most offends the Jews when we tell them this. 
Instead of knowing the living God as He revealed 
Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, — the fulness 
of light and love, — the Jew^s have now come to think, 
that their great religion is monotheism. I tried to 
explain in one of my lectures that monotheism is not 
the religion of the Old Testament, but that Jehovahism 
is the religion of the Old Testament. Now they lay 
all the stress upon the unity, of which the Bible never 
speaks. The Bible says that there is only one God, but 
the Bible says that in this God there is God, and God as 
He reveals Himself, and the Spirit of God. But instead 



ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION- 



of that, the Jews have this abstract idea of a unity ; 
and in that abstract idea there is no warming for the 
heart nor is there any peace for the conscience, and 
therefore is it said that in the latter days they shall 
seek Jehovah ; and this accounts for the most extra- 
ordinary fact that the father of modern pantheism, 
Spinoza, was a Jew. This bare abstract idea of unity 
is not able to satisfy the intellect, and leads more or 
less to the departure even from monotheism. 

And then can we be astonished, that along with 
this there is among the Jews a great deal of worldli- 
ness and indifference and unbelief, and of every kind of 
sin even down to infidelity ? That is the state of the 
nation up to this day. While there is a remnant of 
those Israelites who, by the grace of God, have come 
to the faith in Jesus Christ according to the pro- 
phetic word that there must always be even during 
the time of their dispersion, a remnant from Israel, 
according to the election of grace ; and while the 
godly Israelites who are going on in Talmudic dark- 
ness are still clinging to the Word of God, there are 
great numbers of worldly, indifferent, unbelieving, 
rationalistic, and infidel Jews. What will become 
of them ? But the actual condition of the nation 
during these eighteen centuries, physically, spiritually, 
morally, and the predictions of prophecy run perfectly 
parallel. And now to one who believes Scripture, it 
makes no difference whether a thing has been actually 
accomplished in history or is merely written in the 
Bible. One is as sure to us as the other. We have 
not the slightest doubt that Jerusalem was destroyed, 
not only because the Roman historians tell us, but 
because Christ said that it would be destroyed. 
Neither have we the slightest doubt that Israel shall 



AlSr EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 121 

be restored, converted, and reinstated in their own 
land, because God has said so. The Word of God 
standeth sure for ever. 

Now prophecy is a stereotyped miracle. A man 
may say, " If I had been on the Red Sea and seen 
the Jews pass through it, or if I had been present 
when the Lord raised Lazarus from the dead, I should 
have believed, — but these great facts took place in a 
day, in a moment, and then they disappeared." But 
prophecy is miracle stereotyped, continued miracle. 
It has been going on now from century to century. 
People speak about " realising " the Bible. What do 
you mean by " realising " the Bible, and the things 
that are spoken in the Bible ? When people speak 
about realising things — an expression which is 
exceedingly dangerous and misleading — what they 
mean is that they want to get their imagination 
into such a heated condition, and their feelings so 
roused, that they may have something better than 
faith. So when they see the Ammergau play 
they think that that is realising the crucifixion of 
Jesus. It may be realising the crucifixion, but 
it is not realising Christ crucified. Read the 53 rd 
chapter of Isaiah and you will realise the crucifixion 
—that is to say, believe it. But if you wish to see 
the Word of God, study the Jews as they live in the 
present day and there you will see how true it all is, 
I remember when I was a child, one evening, as I 
felt the air of the room oppressive, I went out ; and 
there I saw the beautiful stars shining brightly, and 
the thought flashed across my mind, " These are the 
stars that God showed to our father Abraham, and 
we are here : the stars are here. How much more 
is God still in the world." And so all the history of 



122 ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION— 

the Jews — their father Abraham, their rabbi Moses, 
their prophet Elijah, the shield of David, the wisdom 
of Solomon — all these are national possessions 
which live within them. And all the history of the 
Gospels and of the Acts — and the very condition of 
the Jews themselves at the time of Christ, the way 
they talked, the way they argued, the way they 
rejected him, and the way that some of them believed 
in him — behold all these things you may now see 
with your eyes and hear with your ears, over all the 
countries of Europe and most of the countries of 
Asia. God has given them to be a witness. 

The Jews themselves do not understand their 
history, for they do not understand the reason of 
their dispersion. They confess their sins ; they 
weep, as only Jews can weep ; they fast on the 
anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem. This 
very year in which I am speaking to you there have 
been collected poems written by Jews in Gallicia in 
the peculiar dialect of mixed Hebrew and German, 
in which there is as intense a national feeling and 
as mournful a spirit as can be shown by any nation, 
- — as if Jerusalem had only been destroyed last year ; 
but the reason they do not know. That is again 
according to the Scriptures. It is only according to 
prophecy. In no other way can you account for 
it. Eighteen hundred years, they have seen that 
they are in banishment. They ask themselves the 
1 reason why, and they are not able to answer it. 
Israel has never yet confessed the blood-guiltiness 
that is upon them, because they crucified Jesus. 
The Athenians after putting Socrates to death very 
soon regretted the judicial murder which they had 
committed ; but Israel has never acknowledged or 



AN EVIDENCE OF THE TRUTH OF PROPHECY 123 

regretted the crucifixion of Christ up to this day. 
The insipid admissions of rationalistic Jews that 
those were the days of barbarism and of religious 
intolerance, which are greatly to be regretted, is no 
confession of the unparalleled, national, blood-red sin 
which Israel committed against the Just and Holy 
One. But the Old Testament tells you that it would 
be so. In the latter days they would say, "We 
thought him as one smitten of God, and we hid, as 
it were, our faces from him." And Zechariah says, 
" There will be given repentance to Israel, and they 
shall mourn over him as over a son, an only son." ^ 
And He is their only son. We have got nothing else : ^^^C 
no power, no wisdom, no honour. The only thing ^^ 
that we have produced — and not we, but the grace 
of God and the Holy Ghost — is Jesus. He is their 
only son ; but for many centuries they have not known 
it. But then shall they mourn over Him, as over an 
only son. As with the sons of Jacob, after they had 
sold Joseph into Egypt, returned to their father, and 
their conduct afterwards was better than it had been 
before, but the blood of Joseph was still upon their 
consciences and hearts, and afterwards they were 
driven to Egypt, and there Joseph revealed himself 
to them — " I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold 
into Egypt " — thus will it be with Israel. That they 
do not know Jesus up to this time has always been 
predicted ; and this is what the apostle Paul says : 
" There is a veil on their hearts " so that they do not 
understand the whole covenant. And it is what 
Jesus says, " Ye shall see me no more till ye shall 
say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the 
Lord." Israel is a witness for the truth of the Old 
and the New Testament scriptures. 



124 ISRAEL SINCE THE DISPERSION 

God is coming — God Himself in the person of His 
Son. Great judgments will be against the anti- 
Christian nations. Great power and majesty shall 
be made manifest upon His chosen people Israel. 
The Church of Christ has her position, and the 
Church of Christ is associated with the blessed Lord, 
and with the blessed Lord takes the deepest interest 
in the manifestation of His kingdom here upon earth. 
Oh that we may know the living God. Israel com- 
memorating the passover every year says, " Next 
year in Jerusalem." The Church of Christ com- 
memorating the passover on the Lord's Day, or 
whenever it is, even by partaking of that bread and 
of that cup, says, " Till He come " : both together 
witnesses for the Scripture. The Scripture is God's 
Word, and this conviction we have the more strongly, 
the more we are filled with faith in the living God, 
and realise that there is a history going on, and 
know that He who was, and who is, is also He that 
is to come. 

May the Lord grant unto us that His Word may 
thus be living to us. Amen. 



VII 

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE OLD 
TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 

The Church of Christ — Her relation to the books of the New Testament 
as well as to Moses and the Prophets — Often said, Church of 
Christ existed before the Scriptures — This assertion superficial 
and false — The preaching of Christ and His apostles always con- 
nected with the Scriptures — In all epistles directed even to Gentile 
congregations, every doctrine proved from Old Testament, as 
justification by faith — The grandeur of the New Testament ; its 
simplicity ; its compactness — The infinite depths it reveals — Yet 
its inspiration exceedingly human and exceedingly simple — In- 
dividuality of writers allowed fullest scope — This manifest from 
the fact that nearly all the books are letters— The four Gospels 
— The Acts — The Epistles; their various characteristics — The 
Apocalypse — No difference in teaching between gospels and 
epistles — The epistles give what men were not able to bear before 
— Universal agreement of the writers — Antiquity no authority as 
to faith — Marked deterioration after apostles — The fathers — 
What happened to the Jews happened to the Church — Delusions 
of Rome — Reformation a spiritual movement — The supreme 
authority of Scripture acknowledged as a theory in all the Churches, 
till the Council of Trent — Authority of Church in interpreting 
New Testament not better than of Jews in interpreting Old 
Testament — Perspicacity of Scripture — Intended for all, though 
it needs the enlightenment of the Spirit. 

I HAVE endeavoured to show in my last addresses 
how the Jews were the custodians of the Old Testa- 
ment Scriptures. I now wish to direct your attention 
to the Church of Christ and her relation to the books 
of the New Testament as well as to those of Moses 
and the prophets. 



126 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

It has often been remarked that the Church of 
Christ originated without the Scriptures, only by the 
preached word of the Gospel, and that as it thus 
originated, it also existed before the Scriptures. This 
assertion is very superficial, and in fact it is not true, 
because the preaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and 
the preaching of the apostles were always connected 
with the Scriptures of the Old Testament, yea, founded 
upon them, so that from the very beginning the 
Church owed its origin not merely to the preaching 
of the Word, but to the preaching of the Word as being 
the explanation of the Word which was written, and 
which God had given to the fathers. We can see 
this not merely concerning the Church, which was 
founded among Israel — for what was the preaching 
of the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost, and of 
the apostle Paul in the synagogue at Antioch, but 
the explanation of that which was written, because 
that which was written was not now superseded, nor 
merely supplemented, but it was fulfilled ; it was 
illumined and transfigured, and it was to remain for 
ever as the authoritative announcement of the Most 
High. 

And when the apostles went to the idolaters, how 
remarkable is it that unto them also they preached 
the Scriptures, so that we find that in all the epistles 
which afterwards they directed to the congregations 
which had been formed from among the heathen, they 
proved every doctrine from the Old Testament Scrip- 
tures. Justification by faith was proved from the 
prophet Habakkuk, from the example of Abraham, 
and from the experience of David. And the apostle 
Paul was so anxious, that in that world-wide epistle 
to the Romans there should be given light to the 



OLD TESTAMENT — THE NEW TESTAMENT ii-j 

Gentiles, as to the true position of the Old Testament, 
that he shows in it how Jesus Christ was the 
minister of the circumcision to fulfil the promises 
which were given to the fathers, and how the Gentiles 
were brought in, in accordance with the prophetic 
word. He was afraid of that congregation in Rome, 
and of all the Gentile congregations, falling into what 
I may call Gentilising error, just as he was afraid of 
the Galatians falling into Judaising error ; and all 
the practical exhortations that he gave to the Churches 
were based upon the Word of God — "as it is 
written." So he writes to the Corinthians that the 
experience of Israel in the wilderness was to be a 
guide and a warning unto them. And when the 
apostles were near the end of their earthly course, 
and saw the dangers to which the Church of Christ 
would be exposed, they with all emphasis directed 
men again to the Scriptures, which were to be a light 
shining to them in darkness, and which were profitable 
to them, and able to make them perfect, furnishing 
them to every good work. 

The glory of the Old Testament is great. The 
glory of the New Testament is still greater. But it 
is not by depreciating the one that we shall be able 
to see the true magnitude and excellence of the other. 
The Old Testament in its humility compares itself 
to the night, although it is illuminated by the moon 
and the stars ; and the very last word of the Old 
Testament in the prophet Malachi is, that unto them 
that fear God the sun of righteousness shall rise with 
healing in its wings. Therefore although the night 
is solemn and beautiful, the day with the sun is still 
more glorious. 

Think for a moment of what we have in the New 



128 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

Testament Scriptures. Think of the grandeur of the 
New Testament. Here God Himself is revealed 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and for this reason it 
is that in the New Testament you find so often the 
expression used, " Before the foundation of the 
world," because the New Testament, in this differing 
from the Old Testament, goes back to the eternal 
counsel of God, and shows us what was in the depth 
of God's mind when, in Christ Jesus as the Lamb, 
He chose the Church in order to show forth all His 
glory and all His praise. God is light, God is love, 
God Himself is made manifest to us in the New 
Testament. 

And as this New Testament possesses such a 
wonderful grandeur and majesty, it possesses also a 
marvellous simplicity. What can be more simple 
than the words of Jesus and the exposition of the 
apostles ? The very word " Jesus " is a summing 
up in the simplest form of all God's announce- 
ments and promises in the Old Testament. That 
name which was never mentioned as the name 
of the Messiah in the Old Testament, sums up 
everything that God has promised to His people. 
Or take that expression, " The Lamb in the midst 
of the throne." Here you have all the sacrifices ; 
here you have the predictions of Isaiah ; here you 
have the still clearer and more condensed explana- 
tion of the prophet Zechariah when he speaks about 
the priest being set on the throne, — and it is all 
summed up in the most lucid and sweet manner, 
" The Lamb in the midst of the throne." Greater is 
the majesty of the New Testament, and still greater 
is its simplicity. 

Think again how compact it is. After all it is 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT \-ic) 

in a very small compass. The New Testament is 
not a large book, and the period of history which 
it has to sum up only comprises a few years. In 
three years Jesus finished His earthly ministry, 
and only twenty years sum up the history of the 
book of Acts. How easily it is read and how easily 
it is remembered. 

And lastly, I would say about the New Testament, 
although in it God Himself is revealed, — a more 
glorious revelation of God than the Incarnation, 
even eternity will not bring. A more stupendous 
sacrifice of divine love than the death of Jesus on 
the cross, eternity will not unfold. A more wonderful 
mystery than the indwelling of the Spirit of God in 
the Church of Christ, we can never witness. 

Although the majesty of the New Testament is 
exceedingly great, the manner of its inspiration is 
exceedingly human and exceedingly homely ; for 
not, as in the Old Testament, was the Spirit of God 
as it were outside the prophets, so that they had to 
search diligently, what the Spirit that was in them 
did signify. The Spirit now abiding within the 
hearts of the apostles, their testimony came, so to 
speak, in the most personal and subjective way. 
As Christ says, " The Spirit shall testify and ye also 
shall testify." Their own individuality is allowed 
the freest and fullest scope, which is manifest 
from this simple circumstance that nearly all the 
books of the New Testament are letters. The 
gospel of Luke is a letter. The gospel of John is 
a letter. The book of Acts is a letter. And then 
comes a great number of epistles, and even in the 
book of Revelation we see the form of a letter. 

Heart to heart, mouth to mouth, man to man, — 
K 



I30 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

speaks in this book. Think for a few moments of 
what we have in the New Testament. The Jews 
possessed in the Old Testament all that they required 
as a nation — the history and origin of Israel — all 
God's dealings with them, all God's teaching for 
them, and all the plans of God for their future, — all 
are contained in the Old Testament, so that Israel 
as a nation requires no more ; and therefore the Old 
Testament to a certain extent is more difficult to 
understand and is larger in its outlines, because it 
has not yet served its full purpose, for, in the later 
ages, the Jews will have occasion to go to the Old 
Testament as they have never gone to it before, in 
order to see what is the will of God concerning 
them in those latter days, when God begins again to 
deal with the remnant of Jacob. 

In the New Testament we have the four gospels, 
the history of Christ on earth, — His sufferings, death, 
and resurrection. 

First there is the gospel of Matthew, connecting 
the New with the Old Testament, showing how the 
promises were fulfilled in Jesus ; and as Matthew 
himself had been a publican, what was more natural 
than that he should treasure up all those sayings and 
acts of Christ, in which Christ showed that His 
righteousness was different from that of the scribes 
and Pharisees, and that his idea of the Messiah was 
different from that entertained in those days by 
the Jews. It is the humility of Jesus that strikes 
us in the gospel of Matthew. 

Then comes Mark, evidently written under the 
influence of the apostle Peter, an eye-witness, and 
therefore there are so many graphic details as if he 
were a painter ; an car-witness, and therefore we have 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 131 

the words, " Talitha cumi " ; " cphthatha," " eloi, cloi, 
lama sabacthani," — as if he was still hearing and 
seeing the things, showing to us the energy of Christ, 
declaring the gospel by word and by deed. 

Then we have the gospel of Luke written under 
the influence of the apostle Paul, — Luke the historian 
showing what Christ is, not merely to the Jews but 
to the whole world, not merely the Son of David, 
but the Son of Man, Saviour of sinners, physician of 
the sick, — free grace abounding to the poor and the 
needy. This connects the gospel with the whole 
history of the Church in the future, as Matthew 
connected it with Israel in the past. 

Then there is the gospel of John which is neither 
of the past nor the present nor the future, but of all 
eternity, and shows us Christ as the Son of God in 
the bosom of the Father, — and the whole life, suffer- 
ings, death and resurrection of Christ illumined by the 
light of eternity — both the counsel of God and also 
the consummation when there will be the everlasting 
separation between Christ's people and the world. 

This foundation is like the five books of Moses, 
describing the fundamental dealings of God ; the 
former with Israel, — the latte^ with both Israel and 
the Gentiles. 

Then comes the book of Acts — connecting as it 
were the gospels with the rest of the New Testa- 
ment, like the head with the rest of the body, and 
showing how the gospel began in Israel, how it 
afterwards went to Samaria, and how then it went 
to the Gentiles, and ending not merely with the fact 
but with the condition of things, namely, the gospel 
among the Gentiles, Paul yet testifying to the Jews 
in Rome. 



132 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

Then come the wonderful epistles. What was 
more natural than that the apostles should write to 
their congregations, when they were separated from 
them, teaching them, warning them, explaining to 
them the manifold errors and heresies which were 
creeping in. We have the apostle Paul with his 
fourteen epistles, all, as it were, originating in the most 
natural way. We may say that these are occasional 
epistles. Thus the human and historical elements 
appear in the most natural manner. Historically 
they give us a picture of the Church of Christ in the 
beginning ; and every kind of heresy, both Jewish 
and pagan, both theoretical and practical, are in 
these epistles shown and refuted, so that the Church 
of Christ requires nothing more, either for exposition 
or for polemics. 

If we look again at these epistles in reference to 
the doctrine : — ^The epistle to the Romans shows us 
how Christ is righteousness and life ; the epistle 
to the Galatians shows us the same thing, — how 
Christ is righteousness and life, but shows further 
how law and gospel, flesh and spirit, cannot be 
combined. Higher still we rise in the epistles 
to the Ephesians and to the Colossians, where the 
centre is Christ. They may be called Christological 
epistles. In the Ephesians we see the Church in 
Christ from all eternity elect in Christ, redeemed in 
Christ, adopted in Christ, called in Christ, and 
raised to be with Christ in heavenly places, whereas 
in Colossians we stand upon earth, and the apostle 
tells us of the glory of Christ and draws from it this 
inference : If Christ is this glorious being in whom 
dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and who 
is the substance of all types, then you who belong to 



OLD TESTA MENl'^THE NEW TESTAMENT 133 

Christ must never think of righteousness or sanctifi- 
ca'tion produced by any earthly thing, — " Touch not, 
taste not, handle not " ; but must seek the things 
that are above, — the righteousness, the merit, the 
fulness, the power of Christ who is at the right 
hand of God. Or if we look again at Thessa- 
lonians, there we have prophetic truth ; or at the 
epistles to Timothy and Titus, there we have 
practical questions regarding the Church, simplicity 
of the Gospel against all artificial antinomian cor- 
ruption and caricature of the truth as it is in 
Jesus ; or at Corinthians, — there we have the sim- 
plicity which is in Christ Jesus, the love which 
alone edifieth, while wisdom and knowledge puff 
up, and the representation that Christ is everything 
in the Church, and that in Him is our life and our 
strength. 

The epistles of the apostle Paul are, as it were, 
confirmed by the epistles of John ; they are con- 
firmed also by the epistles of Peter. Peter looks upon 
the Church of Christ, as between the first advent 
and the second advent, — strangers and pilgrims here 
below, — exhorting them to hold fast to the hope. 
He sees Christ coming for the consolation of His 
people. He sees Christ coming also for judgment 
upon them that are ungodly and that reject the Gospel. 
The relation of these two aspects of the coming 
he now explains ; and because at the time that he 
wrote the 2nd epistle, the Church had become 
lukewarm, and many false teachers had crept in, 
the tone of that epistle is different. In the ist 
epistle he knew that the Christians were holding 
fast the hope. In the 2nd epistle he had to urge 
them strongly to hold fast the hope, and therefore 



134 THE. CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 



he shows them the importance of the sure word of 
prophecy. The epistle of James gives us a picture 
of the earhest condition of the Jewish Church. The 
epistle of Jude warns us against the latest and yet 
future inroad of grievous blasphemy and error ; and 
lastly we have in the book of the Apocalypse 
the revelation which God gave to Jesus Christ, — a 
manifestation of Christ's glory itself, a description 
of the Church of Christ in this dispensation, of the 
great events of the latter days, of the advent of our 
Saviour, of the establishment of His kingdom, and of 
the victory over Satan, and, finally, of the beginning 
of that period which shall have no end. 

Everything that the Church can require is con- 
tained in this wonderful collection of books which 
we are in the habit of calling the New Testament. 

Let me briefly point out to you a very import- 
ant element, namely, that all these books are one 
book. There is no discordance between the gospels 
and the epistles. There is a most shallow view, 
constantly propounded nowadays, when people say 
that they would rather listen to what Christ says in 
the gospels than to what is written in the epistles of 
the apostles. The Holy Ghost alone could bring 
to the remembrance of the apostles the things that 
Christ had spoken, — and the reason why Christ 
did not tell the apostles all that is in the epistles 
was not because he was not able to do so, but be- 
cause they were not able to bear it ; but besides 
Christ told them everything in germ, although, in 
Jerusalem, and afterwards, all was more fully revealed. 
Everything that the apostles taught was con- 
tained in the teaching of our blessed Saviour, nor 
did the apostle Peter in any way contradict the 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 135 

apostle Paul, nor was there any difference of view of 
the truth, only different aspects of the truth brought 
out, in accordance with the different graces and gifts 
bestowed upon the apostles ; but all their writings 
are harmonious, and he who does not receive the 
words of the apostles rejects Jesus Himself, even as 
he who rejects Jesus rejects the Father. "He that 
heareth you heareth me," not " heareth as it were 
me," but Christ Himself speaks in the apostolic 
word ; and so we find that the apostles knew when 
they wrote that their writings had a distinct authority. 
" I beseech you that this epistle be read of all 
saints," says the apostle. " These things are written 
that your joy may be full." The Apocalypse itself, 
we may say, is the very word of the Father given 
to Jesus Christ, and the apostle Peter speaks of 
the epistles of Paul as collected already, and 
as on an equality with the other scriptures, liable 
to be misunderstood by those who do not seek 
in humility and earnestness of heart. But at 
first, although these individual churches greatly 
valued the epistles that were sent to them, and 
although the greatest part of the New Testament — 
namely, the four Gospels and the Acts, all the 
epistles of the apostle Paul (with the exception of 
the epistle to the Hebrews), the ist epistle of Peter, 
and the ist epistle of John, and the book of the 
Apocalypse — was acknowledged, from the begin- 
ning, by all the churches, there were other epistles 
which were known and acknowledged in the congrega- 
tions to which they were originally sent. It took 
some time before the other churches were fully con- 
vinced of their apostolic authority, and added them 
to the canon. 



136 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

Yet this question has been most satisfactorily 
cleared up. The western churches, looking upon 
the apostle Paul as their apostle, divided all the 
books in the New Testament which they possessed 
into what they called gospel and epistle ; that means 
the four gospels and the Acts, and the writings of 
the apostle Paul and the Apocalypse and the ist 
epistle of John. In the east there was no doubt 
as to the epistle to the Hebrews being apostolic, 
and also written by the apostle Paul. The 2nd 
and the 3rd epistles of John being addressed to 
individuals, took some time, as was natural, before 
they were recognised as of general church authority. 
Still, nearly all the books in the New Testament 
are referred to in the year 150, by authorised 
and well-known teachers of the Church ; and during 
all the previous period the reading of the Old Testa- 
ment was constantly maintained in the meetings of 
the Christians. 

And now I come to a point, where it is neces- 
sary to speak plainly — namely, that antiquity has 
no authority to us as regards matters of faith, 
because immediately after the death of the apostles 
there was a most marked deterioration in all the 
churches, so that when we compare the writings 
which were produced immediately after the death 
of the apostles with the writings of the New 
Testament, there is not the slightest difficulty in 
perceiving that we are breathing a very differ- 
ent atmosphere. There is no longer the fulness 
of apostolic testimony and the light of God, but 
human error and weakness, and I might say even 
childishness, mixed up with the leading truths 
of salvation ; so that those who are called the 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 137 

apostolic fathers are of no authority to us ; — and 
although they were diligent in reading the Old 
Testament, and fully believed in its divine authority, 
they did not fully understand it, for the simple 
reason that from this very early period there began 
that deterioration which afterwards developed in 
the papacy. They did not know Christ as our 
only righteousness, but looked upon Him rather 
as a new law -giver, so that the Old Testament 
was viewed by them as a preparatory law and 
the New Testament as the real law. Even the 
sacriiices they did not understand in their typical 
meaning. The great importance of the Old Testa- 
ment to them was that it furnished proof of the 
divinity of Jesus because it foretold His coming, 
and also because — the whole ancient Church was 
clear upon this point — it foretold the return of 
Jesus. That was the point most deeply im- 
pressed upon their minds and upon their hearts, and 
therefore we find more quotations from the book 
of the Apocalypse in the first four centuries than 
from any other book. Most melancholy is it to 
note how, from the fourth century to the time of 
the Reformation, the glimpses of light, of truth, 
and of evangelical liberty are exceedingly rare. It 
happened to the Church as it happened to the Jews. 
The Jews had the Word of God, but they made it 
void by the traditions of the elders. The Jews had 
revealed in the Old Testament righteousness by faith, 
but they sought a righteousness by their own works. 
The Jews not merely thought that they could 
keep the law, but they thought they could do more 
than keep the law, and therefore invented works of 
supererogation. Exactly what happened to the Jews 



138 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

happened to the Church, it having again tradition 
— it having righteousness by works — and therefore, 
instead of the clearness and sweetness of the Gospel, 
the spirit of bondage again to fear. 

Not only so, but in exact opposition to the Word 
of God : Christ was obscured. Instead of Christ 
bearing the love of God to the chief of sinners, 
there were now mediators required between the 
sinner and that awful and terrible judge Jesus Christ. 
Christ was no longer seen as the prophet, because the 
Scripture was made of none effect, and the authority 
of the Church was set up instead. Christ was no 
longer seen as the priest, for if Christ is the priest 
he is the only priest, with the exception of all be- 
lievers who are a priesthood in Him. His sacrifice 
as complete — requires no renewal or supplementation. 
Christ was no longer seen as the king. He alone 
has authority, being the head of the body from whom 
all life flows directly into the members, and who 
shall come again in glory. The Church of Rome 
said, " Lo, I sit as a queen and am rich and powerful," 
and it sought to establish a church kingdom, which 
is a contradiction in terms. Of course, blessed be 
God, there were many who believed in Jesus during 
these periods. There were many glorious teachers 
in the Church. There were many who, although 
they taught error, were also firmly based upon 
the foundation which is Christ. There were many 
who protested against the errors of Rome, and who 
had to suffer martyrdom on account of their faith- 
fulness. But as a whole it was the period of dark- 
ness. Why are people so astonished about the 
history of the Old Testament with its long cen- 
turies of darkness and of apostasy, when so many 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 139 

centuries of the Church of Christ form an exact 
parallel ? 

But now, let us look to the great change. What 
is that movement of the Reformation which, I am 
sorry to say, even among those who keep themselves 
separate from the Church of Rome, is so little under- 
stood, and so very languidly acknowledged ? The 
Reformation was not an ecclesiastical movement, as if 
the chief question had been the authority of the Pope, 
The Reformation was not a philosophical movement, 
as if the question had been the emancipation of 
the human mind. The Reformation was not a 
political movement, as if its chief importance had 
been the introduction of liberty into the kingdoms 
of Europe, tyrannised over, as they had been, 
by the papacy. The Reformation was the power 
of the Holy Ghost and nothing less. That 
self-same Spirit who had been in the Church, who 
had watched over the Church all these centuries 
notwithstanding her darkness and her apostasy, was 
now working mightily in the hearts, consciences, 
and minds of many men, and this was the great 
question that was engrossing their thoughts — " How 
can we have certainty of salvation and of communion 
with God ?" That had been the question for cen- 
turies in the Church, and no clear answer had been 
given to it. Nothing will teach a man but the Holy 
Ghost, — no experience, no reading, no knowledge, no 
tradition. The Holy Ghost alone glorifies Jesus. 
We can do nothing. When the Holy Ghost comes, 
it is then the time for us to yield ourselves to Him. 
Augustine, from his own experience, and by the teach- 
ing of the Holy Ghost, knew the power of sin and 
the utter impotence of nature to enable a man to 



I40 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

save himself. He also knew the power of grace. 
Bernard of Clairvaux entered still farther into the 
truth as it is in Jesus. At first sight it might appear 
that he was rather departing from the doctrine of 
justification. He started with this point : "We can 
do nothing pleasing to God unless we are branches 
grafted in the vine " ; that was the fundamental idea 
of " the good " of mediaeval mysticism — that there is 
nothing good in thought, word, or work, unless it be 
wrought out by the influence of Jesus Christ Himself 
But then he entered into this question : " How can I 
be a branch of the vine, if I have not the assurance 
of the forgiveness of sins ? The feeling of dread 
and fear is a barrier between me and Jesus," 
And therefore much more clearly than any of the 
Church teachers did Bernard of Clairvaux say this. 
These are his words — " It is by God's righteousness 
that in Christ Jesus he forgives our sins." And when 
the Reformers through reading the Scriptures, follow- 
ing the guidance of the Holy Ghost in their hearts 
and consciences, saw that Jesus was the full salvation 
of God to every one that believeth, it was then that 
the authority and true character both of the Old and 
New Testaments were fully manifested to their minds, 
so that the two doctrines — the Bible alone, and Christ 
Jesus alone — went hand in hand, and nobody could 
say which came first and which came second. 
They really came simultaneously. It was by finding 
God in Christ that they found that the Scripture and 
the Scripture alone was the Word of God. 

The authority of Scripture was acknowledged as a 
theory in all the churches. It was only that horrible 
Council of Trent that made it a doctrine that tradition 
was of equal importance with the Word of God, and 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 141 

that introduced again the Apocrypha which all the 
ancient Church had condemned as no part of the 
Word of God. During all the centuries preceding 
the Reformation there was not the slightest dispute 
as to the fact that the Scripture was the Word of 
God and the only authority. There is a very won- 
derful illustration of this in one of the splendid manu- 
scripts on parchment, preserved in the library in 
Paris — a manuscript of the orations of Gregory of 
Nazianzen. There is frequently an illustration at the 
beginning of a chapter. One represents the Council 
at Constantinople in the year 381. It met to judge 
the doctrine of Macedonius about the procession of 
the Holy Ghost, and of Apollonius about the will of 
Christ. The bishops are seated in a semicircle ; 
the emperor Theodosius is also there ; but in the 
middle of this semicircle there is a throne. Neither 
emperor nor bishop is sitting on that throne. On 
that throne there lies the roll of the Holy Scripture. 
The idea of this picture must have originated at 
the end of the fourth century. What could be a 
more striking proof that, the Council held, that 
nothing was to decide doctrine or faith but the 
Scripture ? But to hold the t'aith in theory and to 
hold it in heart — conviction and experience, — are 
two different things. 

Now what did the Reformation do ? First, it 
said the Scripture is the only authority, because it 
alone is the Word of God. Tradition gives us only 
the opinions and views of men. 

And besides tradition there was also a great 
element of rationalism in the Church of Rome ; in 
fact several popes and many cardinals were down- 
rijjht infidels who did not believe in the historical 



142 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

facts about Christ or even in the resurrection. Martin 
Luther said — and I do not think he ever said any- 
thing better or more important — " The Church of 
Rome is founded not upon the rock of Scripture, 
but upon human reasoning. It is a rationahstic 
Church." And this is another saying of Luther 
and exceedingly pregnant — " Up to this time, we 
have been taught in our schools and colleges that 
nobody can be a theologian unless he begins 
with Aristotle " — (that is, with metaphysics) — 
" and I say that nobody can be a theologian unless 
he first gets rid of Aristotle ; " that is to say, that 
Scripture has its own teaching and its own philo- 
sophy, and that we must not take human philosophy 
and apply it to the judgment and exposition of the 
Word of God. 

The Scripture is the Word of God. The Scripture 
is the only revelation in which God makes known to 
us the things concerning our salvation. Therefore 
we must listen to nothing else. 

The second point was this : — The Scripture has 
a centre, and that is Christ. Once we understand 
this centre we understand everything. Now we 
understand the law that it is a schoolmaster to 
bring us unto Christ. Now we understand the 
prophets that they predicted Christ. Now we 
understand the apostles, that they explained the 
person and work of Christ. Now we understand the 
patriarchs and David and all the saints, that their 
experience was that, where sin abounded unto death, 
only grace could abound unto eternal life. There- 
fore now the whole Scripture is but one. Your 
traditions, your philosophies, your explanations, can 
never be harmonised and reconciled. They have 



OLD TESTAMENT—THE NEW TESTAMENT 143 

no unity, they have no centre, because Christ is 
the centre of all unity, and Christ is the centre of 
the Scripture. 

Third point : We are sure that we are saved when 
we believe in Christ according to the Scriptures. 
You, Church of Rome, have never given us any 
certainty. You are like a kind, of insurance society 
telling us that we ought to credit you and that you 
promise us, — and you cannot promise us with any 
certainty. Not even after death. There is the 
vague, illimitable stretch of purgatory. This kind of 
feeling of safety, or of thinking we have done the 
best thing that can be done, is not what the Scripture 
gives us. God gives us assurance. Faith {?, fiducia, 
trust, a placid conviction of the heart that Jesus 
is our Saviour. That was the very nerve of the 
Reformation. What is the reason that the old 
Catholic movement in our present day can never 
come to anything, unless it pleases God to give more 
of His Holy Spirit to the men that are engaged in 
it ? It does not speak to the conscience ; it does 
not speak to the heart ; it does not show the fulness 
of salvation in Jesus ; and after all, all other blessings 
are secondary. That for which the Church of Christ 
exists is — to stand aside and let the full light and 
love of Christ flow into the heart of every poor and 
trembling sinner. 

The next point the Reformation proclaimed was 
this : The Scripture is its own authority. We do 
not believe in the Scripture because you guarantee it. 
A Romanising clergyman once said to me, " And 
who has given you the Scripture ? " Who has given 
me the Scripture ? I know who has given me the 
Scripture. The synagogue has given me the Old 



144 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

Testament, and am I therefore to deny that Jesus is 
the Messiah ? Because the synagogue has given 
me the Old Testament, am I bound to -interpret 
the Old Testament with their blindness ? I am 
thankful that it has given me the Old Testament, 
but it has no authority to interpret to me the 
Old Testament. And as for the Church that has 
given me the New Testament, I am thankful to the 
Church that has given me the New Testament. But 
the authority of the Church in interpreting the New 
Testament, specially when it says exactly the 
opposite to what is written in the New Testament, 
certainly no Christian can acknowledge, for the 
Scripture is very simple and plain. 

The next point proclaimed by the Reformation 
was the perspicacity of Scripture. There are many 
difficulties in the Bible, but they arc as great difficulties 
to the learned as they are to .the unlearned. In the 
Church of Christ there is no distinction. These things 
are written for all the children of God, and if we do 
not understand everything we must wait till it pleases 
God to make it plain to us, and perhaps it will 
never be made plain to us ; but all that is profitable 
and necessary and salutary and enjoyable is plain to 
the Christian. I admit that the Bible is very obscure 
to two classes of people. The Bible is very obscure 
to those who wish to find in the Bible what is not 
there. If you wish to find that there are many 
mediators and intercessors between God and man, it 
will be very difficult to find it in the Bible. If you 
wish to find the Virgin Mary seated upon a 
heavenly throne, you may read the whole New 
Testament carefully ; you will find the Virgin Mary 
mentioned in the ist chapter of the book of Acts 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 145 

with the other disciples and women, praying for the 
Holy Ghost's advent ; and in the book of the 
Apocalypse there are the four living beings, and 
there are the twenty-four elders, and there are the 
multitude of those that have washed their robes and 
made them white in the blood of the Lamb — but 
any special mention of the Virgin Mary you will not 
find there. Therefore the Bible is very obscure on 
that ground. The Bible is also very obscure if you 
want to find in it all those doctrines of righteous- 
ness by works, and of penances and saints and the 
worship of angels and such things. If we wish to 
find in the Bible what is not there, the Bible is very 
obscure. And if we are determined not to find in 
the Bible what is in the Bible, the Bible is also very 
obscure. Oh, what difficulties have those rationalists 
had ! They did not wish to find in the Bible the 
divinity of Jesus. They did not wish to find in the 
Bible the substitution in the death of Christ. They 
did not wish to find in the Bible the necessity of 
regeneration. They afterwards did not wish to find 
in the Bible anything miraculous. Oh, it was 
exceedingly difficult to explain the Bible, until at 
last a man like Strauss came and said, " Now what 
is the use of deceiving yourselves and deceiving the 
world and being simply jugglers ? You do not 
believe it, and it is much better to say that you do 
not believe it and there is no explaining it. It is 
simply a mythical representation of ideas." But if 
we are willing to find in the Bible what is in the 
Bible, the Bible is simple. And the Reformers said, 
" The Bible is abundant. We do not want anything 
more. What are all your silly stories and legends 
of saints who did not know what the real point was 

L 



146 THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON THE 

between God and the sinner ? We do not want them 
when we have the Ufe of Abraham, when we have 
the Psalms of David, when we have the experience 
of the apostle Paul. As for your little command- 
ments about eating meat on Friday and all the 
things that you have invented, we do not want them 
when we have the beautiful ten commandments of 
God, and all the law of Moses, and the precepts of 
the apostles, and the Sermon on the Mount. As for 
your sifting people, — trying to find out all the sins 
they have committed, — we do not want it, for the 
Bible is a sharp and two-edged sword, and there is 
no other father confessor but the Scripture that will 
search and probe the conscience. We want nothing.- 
The Bible is God's Word and 'profitable for doctrine, 
for correction, for instruction, for reproof, that the 
man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished 
unto every good work.' " That is what they said. 

But they also said that there were to be in the 
Church teachers and pastors, for the explanation of 
the Bible. The Reformers acknowledged that people 
require guidance, — and this is the great object of 
the ministry — not to perform ceremonies and not 
to call themselves " priests," but to be expositors of 
Scripture ; and not merely expositors of Scripture, 
but also men who are able to apply the Scriptures. 
The man who said " How can I understand unless 
some one guide me ? " was quite right. This is a 
favourite text with the Romanists who tell us, " Do 
not circulate the Scriptures. How can people under- 
stand them ? They do not know what they say." 
" How can I understand unless some one guide me ? " 
Yes, quite true. When the evangelist Philip had 
explained to the Ethiopian that Jesus died for our 



OLD TESTAMENT— THE NEW TESTAMENT 147 

sins and rose again for our justification, he guided 
him. He had given him the key. " Now you can 
understand the Scripture." And then Philip was 
taken away from him, and yet the Ethiopian went 
on rejoicing, with the prophet Isaiah in his hand and 
with the key that opens the prophet Isaiah. The 
Church in the person of Philip had fulfilled her 
mission and laid the foundation. When the Church 
of Rome will preach Jesus, it will find out that this 
is the way in which people are guided to understand 
the Scriptures themselves. 

But the great point which we must put, and 
which the Reformers were foremost in bringing before 
people was the necessity of the Holy Ghost. The 
Holy Ghost uses the Scripture. We do not rely 
upon the Scripture in itself. We rely upon the 
Holy Ghost who, by the Scripture, enlightens the 
mind and persuades the heart to accept Christ as 
offered to us in God's Word. And therefore it was 
the unanimous teaching of all the Reformers that 
the basis, upon which our certainty of Scripture 
being the Word of God rests, is the testimony of 
the Holy Ghost. 

And now, dear friends, I must conclude with this 
one word. The apostle was anxious that all the 
churches should enter fully into the knowledge of 
God's counsel. That was his constant prayer to 
God. He therefore expected, that not merely by 
teaching but by prayer, he would indoctrinate the 
people whom he loved. Oh, what a lesson is given 
both to ministers and people to seek continually the 
light of the guidance of the Holy Spirit ; and the 
object of the Holy Spirit is given in the words, 
" He shall glorify me." To bring us to Jesus, to 



148 CHURCH OF CHRIST BASED ON OLD TESTAMENT 

give us peace and joy through faith in Jesus, and 
to keep us in Jesus faithful to our Saviour and 
obedient to our heavenly Father — this is the object 
of the Spirit, acting through the Scriptures. May 
God grant these gifts unto each one of us. 



VIII 

PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 
AS REGARDS THE SCRIPTURE 

Present aspects of doubt and unbelief — No true understanding of 
Scripture in its living power unless by the Spirit — Revelation 
a connected chain in which link gives strength to link — Strik- 
ing resemblance between history of Jewish nation from Moses 
to Ezra and of Christian Church from its beginning to the 
Reformation — ^ Nothing had developed in the Church except decay — 
All was perfect at first— It might as well be said that Galatians 
was written by Luther, as Deuteronomy by llilkiah in Josiah's 
period — The Reformation, like every great revival, soon lost much 
of its first power— Rationalism and deism assailed theChurch ; these 
merged afterwards into pantheism, and then into materialism — 
Pantheistic attempt to explain New Testament — Its failure — 
The true position of reason as receptive, not creative. 

I WISH this morning to lay before you my views 
on the present aspects of doubt and unbeHef as 
regards the Scripture. The words which Jesus Christ 
addressed to the Sadducees when he said " God is 
not the God of the dead, but of the Hving " apply also 
to Scripture. It is impossible for us to have a true 
understanding of Scripture unless the Word of God 
is living within us. They who stand on the shore 
may take an objective view of a ship, but they only 
who are in the ship are carried along by the current 
of the mighty river. And thus the Scripture, while 
in one respect it has to be viewed as the revelation 



I50 PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

which God sent from above, may hkewise be viewed 
as the diary of the congregation, the record which 
the congregation keeps of the deahngs of God and of 
His words and promises to her. There is a river the 
source of which is in eternity, as revealed to us in 
the New Testament, the visible and timely source of 
which is in the Garden of Eden, where God gave 
the first promise of redemption ; and this river must 
flow on until it enter the ocean of blessedness and 
glory, at the appearing of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, In this river of the history of redeem- 
ing love, prophets and apostles sent by God from 
time to time and entrusted with His message are 
above us, being the representatives of the divine 
mind ; but in another respect we are on a level with 
them. Our fellowship is with the fellowship of prophets 
and apostles, and the same life which animates them 
animates our spirits also. 

The continuity of Scripture as of a river is a point 
of the greatest importance, for revelation does not con- 
sist in oracles and prophecies given from time to time 
without any connection, but it is one connected and 
united chain, in which link gives strength to link. 
And thus it is that unless Moses had believed in the 
God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, he could not 
have received the new revelation of Jehovah and of 
the covenant which He was about to make with His 
people. Every prophet refers back to the past until, 
at last, in John the Baptist the whole law and 
prophets are raised up again and appear to us con- 
centrated in his voice, for he reproduced the Old 
Testament Scriptures knowing that the ist l\salm 
and the 40th chapter of Isaiah and the 3rd 
chapter of the prophet Malachi were incarnate in 



AS REGARDS THE SCRIPTURE 151 

Jesus ; and all those of Israel who accepted the testi- 
mony of John the Baptist were thereby directly 
in ' the current both of the Scripture history and 
of the Scripture books. And thus was it also with 
the disciples of Jesus when He told them that the 
Scriptures referred to Himself, and when, after His 
resurrection. He opened their understanding, so that 
they understood the Scriptures and remembered the 
words which He had spoken to them. They were 
immediately in possession of the whole Scripture, 
whilst the scribes and the Pharisees, with all their 
traditional law and exegetical skill, stood outside the 
Scripture, on the shore. They were not carried 
along by the river ; they did not know the name 
" Jehovah " in its power and in its blessedness. 

The Scriptures are finished, but the Spirit by 
whose guidance the Scriptures were -written is still 
watching over them, and the history of the Bible, 
during the last eighteen centuries, throws the most 
wonderful light upon the history which is recorded in 
Scripture itself. God, the Creator, after He had 
finished the heavens and the earth did not leave 
creation to itself He is still upholding all things by 
the word of His power. "My FE.ther worketh hitherto 
and I work." Jesus the Saviour, after He had laid the 
foundation of the Church by His incarnation, death, 
and resurrection, did not leave the Church to itself 
He is Immanuel. " I am with you alway, even unto 
the end of this age." And the Holy Ghost, by whom 
the Scriptures came into existence, did not leave 
them after they were finished, but still breathes in 
them and breathes through them the breath of life 
and of everlasting blessedness. 

Therefore if we compare the history of the Church 



152 PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

of Christ up to the time of the Reformation with 
the history of the Jewish nation from Moses until 
the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, we find a 
most striking resemblance. During the first four 
centuries the Church of Christ, suffering great per- 
secution even unto death, was kept in an attitude 
of faith and of living hope ; but no sooner had 
Christianity overcome heathenism outwardly, than 
heathenism began to corrupt and to modify 
Christian doctrine and Christian life, just as it had 
been with the Jews, who, when they had received the 
fulness of divine revelation, when Jehovah had made 
known His name to them, and given to them the 
fiery law upon Mount Sinai, immediately fell into 
the idolatry of the golden calf; and the whole sub- 
sequent period was only a series of apostasy and 
idolatry and world-conformity, lit up occasionally by 
gleams of revival, — the people being remembered in 
great mercy by God, when He sent to them judges 
and prophets to testify for Him. But what had the 
judges and the prophets to do but to refer back 
again to that perfect revelation which God had 
given to them, in Moses ? And if it had not been 
for that revelation through Moses, and for a written 
record of that revelation which was acknowledged to 
be authentic, Samuel and all the prophets would have 
been utterly helpless and without strength, in the 
face of an idolatrous and sinful nation. The pro- 
phets were not men of genius who anticipated the 
future, and who therefore could only be understood 
by a few chosen members of their nation ; the 
prophets, instead of being leaders in advance of their 
age, pointed back to the ages that were behind. 
Their watchword was not " Excelsior." Their watch- 



AS REGARDS THE SCRIPTURE 153 

word was " Repentance." " Seek ye out the old 
paths." " Remember the law which my servant 
Moses gave unto you on Mount Horeb." And 
so it was with the Reformation. Just as Ezra 
and Nehemiah stood between Moses and the first 
advent, the Reformers stood between Christ and the 
second advent. What they did was this. Leaving 
tradition and philosophy, they went back again to 
the New Testament revelation. Nothing can be 
added to that ; nothing must be taken away from 
that ; and the greatest fallacy of all is to say as 
is often said — that the doctrine of the apostles had 
to be developed in the Church. Nothing had to be 
developed in the Church. It was all perfect there ; 
it was all complete there. God's thoughts, God's 
ultimate message, philosophy must not modify, 
philosophy must not attempt to 'defend or to 
make palatable to the wisdom of men. Just as 
the naturalist can do nothing to modify nature, but 
must stand in the simple attitude of a child and an 
observer, to see and to worship, and just as a man who 
goes into mines, where gold and silver and precious 
jewels are hid takes no money with him, but only 
the capacity of receiving and treasuring up what he 
may discover, so, for all ages, the New Testament 
doctrine stands high as heaven above us, and we have 
only to wait for the Holy Ghost to take, out of that 
fulness, what it seems good to Him to reveal to us. 

They reproduced the Word of God. This is what 
I want to impress upon you. The Word of God is 
written in Scripture, but it is a living word which 
is also written by the Holy Ghost in the hearts 
of His elect, and which they utter again. Take, 
for instance, the Reformation testimony as it was 



154 P^^ESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

delivered by Luther. The whole epistle to the 
Galatians is a perfect description of all that the 
Reformation taught, and of all that the Reforma- 
tion did. What is that epistle? There is only one 
gospel. This gospel is not of man. It came down 
from heaven. It is absolute truth. If even an 
apostle Paul or an angel from heaven were to preach 
another gospel, he would be excluded from the 
kingdom of God. And this is the Gospel — that in 
the fulness of time God sent His Son, born of a 
woman, made under the law, to redeem them that 
were under the law, by being made a curse 
for them, — and this substitution of Christ must 
be received by faith, quite apart from the law, and 
without any works. And the proof that it must be 
received by faith, and by faith alone, is this — that no 
good works can ever be produced by the law, for the 
Holy Ghost never comes by the preaching of the 
law, but by the preaching of the Gospel. Is this 
then Luther's epistle ? A man might as plausibly 
say that the epistle to the Galatians was written 
by Luther, as many say nowadays that the book of 
Deuteronomy was written, centuries and centuries, 
after the death of Moses. When the Reformers, 
having found Christ, and having found that the 
only way of taking hold of Christ was by faith, 
and that the one way of pleasing God and bring- 
ing forth fruit unto eternal life was by the Holy 
Ghost given by faith, and by faith only, — believing in 
the truth of Scripture, they could not fail also to 
believe the scripture of truth. And this was their 
great testimony — that in producing the message of 
Scripture they were able to speak from their own 
experience, and with a divine certainty and assur- 



AS REGARDS THE SCRIETURE 155 

ancc. There were many philosophers, lovers of 
literature, lovers of national liberty, who at first 
joined the Reformation, but they were not of the 
same spirit, nor had their testimony any beneficial 
effect upon the progress of the Reformation. In 
reference to Erasmus, Luther writes : " The Holy 
Ghost is not sceptical. He does not write upon 
our hearts objections and doubts, but convictions 
more clear than that of our own existence and the 
outer world that surrounds us." But while the 
Reformers had thus tasted the old wine, and while 
they thus had themselves imbibed the Scriptures so 
that they reproduced them, — the current of the divine 
word flowing again, — they taught all the people, high 
and low, rich and poor, old and young, learned and 
ignorant, that the Holy Ghost would be given to 
every one that truly searched the Scriptures, and 
that Scripture explained itself, so that it made 
the whole Christian people independent of human 
tradition and erudition. No longer did they depend 
upon the fathers, and upon the consent of the fathers, 
and upon all those things which keep the Bible at a 
distance from the people. 

It was natural that the Reformation should 
dwell chiefly upon the Gospel, but the Reformation 
had a wonderful insight into the whole Scripture, 
and specially must we notice the great light 
which was shed by it on the Old Testament, — 
and this according to the nature of things. It 
would have been impossible for the Reformers to 
bring before the Church the truths of the New 
Testament without going back to that which is the 
foundation — Moses and the prophets. The first 
reason of this is that the idea of God — the 



156 rRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

fundamental idea of God — was the constant 
thought and the constant soul exercise of Luther ; 
for in the papacy the idea of God that he had 
received was, in the first place, the metaphysical 
idea — God infinite, God incomprehensible, God 
dwelling in light that is unapproachable ; and this 
divine majesty filled him with such misery and 
terror that he was not able to approach with con- 
fidence, for, as he says, not merely did his reason 
not take hold of anything infinite, but his conscience 
also was terrified by the idea of perfect and absolute 
purity and justice. But when he read the Old 
Testament, and especially the book of Psalms, he 
found that the God that was revealed there is not 
God, as He is in Himself in His absolute and 
impenetrable darkness and perfection, but God who 
condescends, who clothes Himself, as it were, in a 
human form, who is full of mercy and compassion, 
who reveals His name unto mankind that they may 
be able to call upon Him, and who gives to them 
the promise of absolute and ever-blessed redemption. 
And therefore he says in his commentary on the 
51st Psalm, "When David says 'Have mercy upon 
me, O God,' he does not say 'O God' in the way in 
which the Turks (that is the Unitarians) and the 
hypocrites and the monks say ' O God,' knowing 
only the absolute God as He is in Himself; but he 
means the God who has promised to send Christ, the 
God of all grace, of consolation, and of salvation." 
Thus they had to go back to the Old Testament. 

Secondly, they had to go back to the Old 
Testament because the people no longer knew what 
was the true nature of sin and what was the 
true nature of godliness ; for since the papacy 



.43 KEGARDS 7'HE SCRIPTURE 157 

had invented its own commandments, stigmatising 
things as sinful which God had never called sinful, 
and giving forth, all round, precepts and command- 
ments which were not spiritual in their characiter, it 
was impossible for the Reformers to know what was 
the will of God, both for themselves and for the 
people, unless they looked into the bright mirror of 
the law as revealed to us in Moses and the prophets. 
That was the great consolation that Luther had 
when he read the Psalms of David. Here were none 
of those imaginary saints who in will-worship and 
castigation of the flesh, and in doing a number of 
useless and unprofitable things, fancied that they 
were better than other people, and that they were 
really bringing themselves nearer to God ; but here 
he saw a man who, like himself, wished to be spiritu- 
ally minded, and wished to have his" affections set 
upon the things that pleased God, but who felt the 
burden of sin and the snares of temptation, and 
who therefore continually appealed to God that He, 
by His grace and by His Spirit, might draw him into 
fellowship with Himself 

But thirdly, as I have already hinted by this last 
sentence, the Reformers being deeply exercised, and 
feeling continually the attacks of the world, the 
temptations of Satan and the evil that was within 
them, and striving against it, found in the Old Testa- 
ment what they did not find in the New Testament 
except only in germ and in principle — the whole 
analysis and anatomy of the human heart, and such 
a minute description of the road which we have 
to travel, which is not always in a straight line, but 
crooked and winding, — with all the different exercises 
of the soul and of the mind, as described in the 



158 PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

life of Abraham, of Jacob, and of David, and in the 
lives of all the prophets. 

And lastly, you must notice that since the New- 
Testament appeals to the Church, whose calling is a 
heavenly one, and which is hastening through the 
world unto the coming of the Lord Jesus, it can- 
not dwell upon those principles of God's govern- 
ment in the world, of His dealings with nations and 
with families, that we find in the Old Testament ; 
and therefore, whenever there is any great turnin'g- 
point in the history of the nation, when there is any 
great national calamity or national victory, — in all 
such junctures we turn instinctively to the Old 
Testament, for, there, in the history of Israel 
we see the divine philosophy of all history, and 
the principles which lie at the foundation of God's 
dealings, in judgment and in mercy, with the 
nations of the earth. Never, it may be said, since 
the days of the apostles, had the scriptures of the 
Old and New Testaments been expounded with so 
much light, with so much spirituality, with so much 
truth, and with so much experience, as by Luther 
and Calvin. It was very natural for them to dwell 
on the divine aspect of Scripture — that Scripture was 
the Word of God, and that nothing was of authority 
in the Church but the Scripture ; for on the one side 
there was the Church of Rome with its theory of 
tradition, and on the other side there were the philo- 
sophers, the intuitionalists of their day, who said 
that it was not the written word that was of the 
highest authority and importance, but that it was 
the inner consciousness, not the shell but the 
kernel, not the letter but the spirit, making the 
light which is within us judge and rejecter of the 



AS KEGAKDS THE SCRIPTURE 159 

things that are written. Against this heresy the Re- 
formers contended with all their might. As Martin 
Luther said, " Christ did not say, ' My Spirit is spirit,' 
but ' My words are spirit and life.'" And as for the 
separation of letter and spirit, of kernel and shell, it is 
perfectly impossible for us to make such a separation ; 
for the written Word, as we have it, is written by the 
action and under the guidance of the Holy Ghost. 

Another way in which they showed that they 
dwelt chiefly on the divine aspect of Scripture was 
that, instead of pointing out the diversities of Scrip- 
ture, they dwelt rather upon its unity, showing that 
Christ, the gospel of redemption, grace, faith, ran 
through the whole Scripture from Genesis to the 
book of Revelation. Quite true ; yet they did not 
sufficiently bring into prominence that the Scripture 
was given at sundry times and in divers manners, 
and that, although the ultimate meaning of the 
Holy Ghost was always the same, yet the under- 
standing of men from the time of Abel and from 
the time of David, and from the time of Isaiah 
and from the time of John the Baptist, expanded 
and grew under the guidance of the divine dealings 
with them, so that they understood that, although 
the Bible was God's Word, it was a divine treasure 
in earthen vessels. They were fully aware of the 
human character of Scripture. Luther in a preface 
which he wrote to the Old Testament, and which 
might have been written to-day, speaks of those who 
say that they do not require the Old Testament any 
longer, as they have got a much clearer and fuller 
light in the New Testament, and says to them, 
" Do not be offended when in this Old Testament 
you meet with lowly and homely narratives, but be 



i6o PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

fully assured that notwithstanding this outward 
lowly and homely appearance, you meet there no- 
thing but the word and majesty and judgment and 
mercy of the Most High, for thus it was with the 
dear child Jesus, who was found in the manger 
wrapped up in very mean and homely clothes." 

According to a very sad law which we must 
observe in all the history of God's people, re- 
vivals like gleams of sunshine, like sudden showers, 
fertilising and refreshing, are short - lived and 
transient in their duration. Such were the revivals 
under Hezekiah, and under Josiah, and such was 
the revival under the Reformers. It is not orthodoxy 
that overcometh the world. It is our faith that 
overcometh the world. After a time of dead ortho- 
doxy there began rationalism, and this is the second 
movement which has influenced our present state, 
as regards our attitude to the Bible. 

Only a few words in regard to this movement. 
The former rationalistic interpretation of Scripture 
could only be understood, by the view which it took 
of man and of man's salvation. It confirms what I 
have been endeavouring to impress upon you in 
this address — that in proportion as we believe the 
things that are in Scripture, shall we have a clear under- 
standing of the authority and position of the Scripture. 
The man on the shore cannot understand the authority 
of Scripture. You must be in the ship, one with the 
apostles and the prophets, and carried along by the 
self-same living river, in order to understand it. A 
rationalist argued in this way. Not believing in the 
fall and in the sinfulness of man as the Bible 
explains them, he said, " Man does not require a 
salvation, coming from God in a supernatural way. 



AS REGARDS THE SCRIPTURE i6i 

He has within himself all the resources which are 
necessary for his enlightenment, for his elevation, and 
fof his temporal and everlasting blessedness. By 
the light of reason he can discover God, and by an 
effort of will he can do the things which are right 
and pleasing before God. He does not require a 
divine Saviour ; he does not require an expiatory 
sacrifice ; he does not require a regenerating Holy 
Ghost. He has in himself everything that he 
requires, but he must use and develop his powers." 
As he does not require anything supernatural for 
himself, it is clear that the Bible cannot be the 
record of anything supernatural, because it is not 
wanted. They still adhered to the Bible, partly 
from reverence for it and the position which it had 
held in Christendom, but now their great object 
was to explain the Bible, in accordance with their 
inward experience. Therefore Christ was only the 
best of men. Christ's death was only the death 
of martyrdom. The Holy Ghost did not mean 
anything special, but the development of the human 
mind and of the human conscience. It was only 
by the greatest straining and by the most artificial 
methods that such views could frame an inter- 
pretation of Scripture ; and this soon became so 
manifest that the whole world was disgusted with it, 
for they said, " It is not true, it is not honest. A 
revelation which reveals nothing is an absurdity." 
And therefore, as the human mind progressed in 
this direction, and as theism developed into pan- 
theism and into materialism, the whole artificial and 
rotten fabric of old rationalism fell to the ground, 
not without having left deep traces which remain 
on the minds of the nations, up to this day. 

M 



i62 PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

When men gave up faith in God and faith in the 
supernatural — when they started with the axiom in 
short that miracle was impossible — this pantheistic 
supposition was applied to the explanation of the New 
Testament, for the Old Testament had been already 
consigned to a very inferior and unimportant place. 
It was by very ingenious theorising that the New 
Testament was brought into harmony with the 
pantheistic supposition. The historic reality of 
Christ in the gospels was, of course, an impossibility. 
The doctrine of the apostles did not flow from Christ ; 
and in the same method as it is now maintained 
that we ought not to say " Moses and the prophets," 
but that we ought to say " The prophets and Moses," 
it was shown that the narratives of the gospels were 
myths, poetical garments woven in order to make 
plain a spiritual story, and that what we call 
" Christianity " was not the teaching of Christ, but 
was gradually developed, especially by the apostle 
Paul, and that after that development the New 
Testament was formed in accordance with it ; and 
this pantheistic theory has also left its deep impress 
on the human mind. Men who have no liking for 
metaphysics, but who are attracted by the world — I 
mean by the outward — sink into materialism, that is 
to say, they dwell only upon the things that are seen 
and upon those second causes only which we can 
observe and trace. The result of all this has been 
to leave three impressions upon men's minds, and it 
is upon these radical impressions that we must base 
the difficulty which many have in believing in the 
Scripture. There are a great many difficulties con- 
nected with Scripture, but if there was strength 
within, it would be able to overcome them all. It 



AS REGARDS THE SCRIPTURE 163 

is owing to the fundamental corruption of man 
that the numerous difficulties appear to be in- 
superable. 

I would direct your attention to these three im- 
pressions. The first is this : men have lost faith in 
God. There was a time when men had faith in God, 
and at that time they tried to find out arguments to 
prove the existence of God. Then there came a time 
when men's faith in God was not vital, but still they 
adhered to the arguments for the existence of God. 
There then came a time when they said that the 
arguments for the existence of God were not cogent ; 
and afterwards there came a time when they said that 
the arguments were false, — and theism fell away into 
pantheism and into materialism. Let me speak freely 
upon this point. There is only one God, and that is 
Jehovah, and there is no other God beside Him ; and 
all the knowledge that the ancient nations had of 
God was a reminiscence of that which had been 
revealed to them. The living God, God who is 
from everlasting to everlasting, God who takes an 
interest in us, God who condescends to man, and 
shows to him his salvation, ir a God whom human 
reason cannot discover. We dwell upon second 
causes. We do not rise to the only source and 
origin. Scientific men acknowledge that both the 
beginning and end of things are utterly beyond the 
reach of science ; and what else is this but a corro- 
boration of what God says, " I am the first and I 
am the last." 

The antipathy of men against the God who is 
revealed to us in Scripture shows itself in their anti- 
pathy to miracle and prophecy, for a living God, who 
interferes by action, is a God that doeth wonders. 



i64 PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

and the living God who interferes by revelation is 
a God that maketh known His mysteries to the 
prophets whom He hath chosen. 

The second impression is connected with the rela- 
tion between reason and revelation. It is often said 
that revelation is contrary to reason, but before that 
position is discussed the question ought to be asked, 
" Do we require a revelation ? Is there any necessity 
for a revelation ? " The view of reason which God 
gives us in His Word is this. He appeals to 
reason. God often appeals to reason, for reason is 
His work, and it is the light which He has kindled. 
But the reason which God has given to man is not 
sovereign and independent. It is not able to create 
truth ; it is only able to receive truth. Adam was 
created in the image of God unto knowledge, and 
the knowledge which he possessed was not a know- 
ledge which had its fountain in himself, — but he had 
the capacity of receiving the knowledge as it was 
delivered to him by God. Through the fall of man, 
reason and the understanding have been blinded and 
darkened. God addresses Himself to reason, but not 
to reason alone, for reason does not exist in man, 
isolated. God addresses Himself to all that is within 
man, and the reason and the will meet in that centre 
of humanity which is the heart. Therefore God 
speaks to the heart, and the Bible says, " The fool 
hath said in his heart that there is no God." 

But, when God speaks to the reason. He brings 
light with the word which He speaks. God does 
not speak to the reason in the Socratic method, 
under the idea that there is already in the reason 
of man all that He wishes to bring out, and that 
it needs only to be developed, but the entrance of 



AS /^EGAA'DS THE SCRIPTURE 165 

His Word itself giveth light, and the things which 
God reveals by the Spirit enlarge the understanding 
and raise it to a higher level. So that by faith we 
understand that God has created the world. By 
faith we receive the things which eye hath not seen 
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of 
man. Faith does not kill reason, nor is faith in 
conflict with reason, nor is reason passive when it 
receives the message of God. It is receptive. Still 
there are many things of which we can take 
hold, but cannot grasp round and round, — and 
therefore did Lord Bacon say that the authority of 
God extends over the whole man — over his reason 
as well as his will ; and just as it is our duty to 
obey the commandments of God when the will is 
reluctant, so it is also our duty to believe the 
revelation of God when the reason is reluctant. 
Abraham is the emblem of faith which receives the 
promises, while Sarah is the emblem of the reason 
which mocks and does not receive the promises. 
But if the revelation of God has taken possession 
of us, our faith will always remain faith until we 
come to that region where we shall see these things, 
and know even as we are known. 

But there is another thing to be remembered in 
connection with this, and it is that reason cannot deal 
with that which is life. It cannot understand birth. 
It cannot understand the origination of anything. It 
cannot understand the individual. Every individual 
that you obtain knowledge of, — reason has nothing to 
do with such knowledge, either one way or the other. 
It is a new life that is made known to you. It is a 
new individuality that comes into contact with you. 
God is the only true " I Am," the only person ; 



i66 PRESENT ASPECTS OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF 

and, when He reveals Himself to us, all that is 
within us must keep silence, for the Lord God is in 
His holy temple, and all that is within us — reason, 
will, feeling — will be stirred up to magnify and praise 
the name of the Lord. 

There is a third impression, and it is also of great 
importance, namely, the view that the generahty of 
people take of this world as well as of themselves. 
They think that it is a good world, and that it will 
become better. What is the view which the Bible 
takes of this world and of us ? That it is an evil world 
and will become worse until the regeneration of all 
things, and that we are bad because what is born of 
the flesh is flesh, and therefore we must be born again. 
Now, as a pantheist truly said, all human beings 
are either Hebrews or Christians or Greeks. The 
Hebrew is ascetic, spiritual, striving to get rid of the 
outward, of the shadow, of the mere picture. The 
Greek is joyous, loves the world, feels his strength, 
boasts of his development, loves the things that are in 
it, in all their serenity and in all their colouring. For 
a long time people imagined that because Christianity 
said that there was no difference between the Jew and 
the Greek, and that all were one, Christianity did away 
with the stern and the puritanical spirit of the Old 
Testament ; but Christianity is yet more puritanical 
than the Old Testament. As the Old Testament 
said, " Thou shalt have no other God beside me," 
and " You are a chosen nation of God, and you 
must not conform to the other nations " ; and as 
the prophet Isaiah said that in the latter days the 
name of the Lord alone should be exalted, and 
every mountain and every cedar, and everything 
that is lofty in spirit, should be swept away, and the 



.•^.9 REGARDS THE SCRIPTURE 167 

idols be utterly abolished, so says the New Testament, 
" Ye are not of the world, even as I am not of the 
world " ; " Love not the world " ; " All that is in the 
world is not of the Father " ; " The whole world 
lieth in wickedness " ; "We are strangers and pilgrims 
here upon earth, and we are waiting for the coming 
of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven." Now think 
of this nineteenth century with its proud conscious- 
ness of its strength, of its wealth, of its science, of 
its culture, — with its worship of civilisation, and of 
art, and of the beautiful. Is it not diametrically 
opposed to the very spirit of the whole Scripture ? 
It is on account of these things — the result of all 
those movements which I have endeavoured to 
describe, the impressions which are made upon men 
deep-seated in the heart, and ramified in all our 
literature and our daily life — that "there is such a 
conflict between Scripture and the modern mind. 
There are many difficulties ; but difficulty after 
difficulty may be answered, objection after objection 
may be removed, and the same conflict still continues. 
Remember what the apostle of love has said to us, 
speaking of Jesus Christ, " This is the true God and 
eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from 
idols." 



IX 



ALLEGED DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND 
NEW TESTAMENTS 

Difficulties as to the Old Testament by people who profess to believe in 
the New Testament — (i) The God of the Old Testament different 
from the God of the New — A God of wrath instead of love — This 
difficulty rooted in a misunderstanding of the New Testament — 
God's dealings with the patriarch, as a Friend — Propitiation in New 
Testament teaches God's justice — New Testament says that men are 
perishing without Christ — Character of God same throughout — 
In Old Testament most wonderful expressions of loving-kindness 
— (2) In New Testament God does not deal with nations, but 
with individuals — Difficulties as to national dealings with Israel 
apply equally to all His government of nations — (3) It is said that 
in the Old Testament there is only a present-day religion — This 
applies to nations as such, not individuals — Foreshadows the pro- 
sperity of the reign of Christ — (4) Saints in Old Testament are 

, said to be vindictive — Not vindictive but judicial, and same spirit 
in New Testament as seen in our Lord's condemnation of the 
Scribes and Pharisees — Forgiveness fully taught in the Old 
Testament — Judgment clearly taught in the New. 

We have this morning to consider the prevalent and 
popular difficulties and objections raised against the 
Old Testament Scriptures by people who profess that 
they believe the New Testament. I do not consider 
now difficulties which are raised by those who reject 
the whole testimony of God ; but I consider the fact, 
which must be obvious to all of you, that there are a 
number of people who, while they profess to believe 
in the New Testament, have a feeling of perplexity 



DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS 169 

and doubt and unbelief with regard to the Old 
Testament, and have well-nigh rejected it. And 
the reason, why I state these difficulties, is because 
this will prepare the way for the analysis of the 
structure, and for the explanation of the peculiarities 
of the Old Testament Scriptures, which I purpose 
to give. 

I shall notice six difficulties. The first difficulty 
may be expressed in this way. We find that the 
God of the Old Testament is different from the God 
of the New Testament. The God of the New 
Testament is love, — full of mercy and tenderness. 
The God of the Old Testament seems to be a God 
of wrath and of anger. If this difficulty is correct 
it is fatal, because the whole object of the Old 
Testament is to reveal Jehovah ; and if the Old 
Testament does not give us a true view of Jehovah, 
the Old Testament has been written in vain. I 
wish to show how this objection is rooted in a 
deep misunderstanding of the teaching of the New 
Testament. 

According to Scripture there is no knowledge of 
God inherent in man. Man was created in the 
image of God unto knowledge, with soul and spirit 
capable of receiving the revelation of God ; and after 
the strivings of God with mankind in general came to 
an end, at the dispersion of nations at the Tower of 
Babel, God left the Gentile nations to themselves, 
and all that they thought of God, and all the longings 
that they had after God must be viewed as remnants, 
and reminiscences, of that primeval revelation which 
God had vouchsafed to mankind, — and the witness 
of the Spirit of God in the consciences and minds 
of men. 



I70 ALLEGED DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

When the apostle Paul says to the Ephesians, 
" Ye who were once afar off hath he brought nigh," 
he does not merely refer to the atonement of Christ 
by which sinners are reconciled to God, but he 
expresses a great general and important fact — that 
all the Gentile nations up to the time of Christ were 
at a distance from God, — outside the circle in which 
God manifested His light and His presence. There- 
fore the apostle Paul, when he spoke to the Athenians, 
although the Athenians were the wisest and most 
cultured of all the nations of the world, said to them 
that all their previous history, with all the great 
thinkers and philosophers which they had produced, 
was the time of ignorance, in which they were in 
darkness, without the knowledge of the true God, 
Therefore the Gentiles were brought nigh in Jesus 
when they were brought into the commonwealth 
of Israel, and when the light which shone upon the 
chosen nation of God reached also their minds and 
hearts ; for there were only two circles in which God 
became known as God, — as a living one, — as a per- 
son, — as a loving one. The first was Israel, for God 
revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 
He dealt with them as their friend, and the whole 
nation afterwards knew that God was not a distant 
God, but that He was very near to them, because 
He was the friend of their forefathers, to whom He 
spake, and who had experience of His presence and 
of His power. Likewise, the subsequent generation 
stood at the foot of Mount Horcb, and they heard 
the voice of God, — and Moses afterwards says, " Was 
there ever a nation like you to whom God manifests 
Himself so that you can have no doubt that there is 
a God and that this God is dealing with you?" Like- 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 171 

wise when God became manifest in the person of 
Jesus the apostles testified, " We have beheld the 
glory of the Only Begotten of the Father. We have 
seen and we have heard and we have handled the 
Word of life, — and this Jesus, who is the true God 
and eternal life, behold, Him declare we unto you." 
So that Israel and the Church alone have the know- 
ledge of God as He is God, — the person, — the 
living One, — the only true and blessed One. 

When people, without receiving this fact, still 
imagine that they are able to construct God out of 
their own intuition and reason, and when they select 
from the Bible the passages which are according to 
their mind, leaving out all others, they fall into 
the error of supposing, that they themselves have 
discovered those beautiful and attractive features of 
the divine character, which they have selected. But 
in this respect they are mistaken. Man never could 
have found them out of himself. And in another 
respect they are mistaken. By separating what 
they like from those declarations which they do not 
like, they lose entirely the right understanding of their 
favourite passages. Now the whole world says that 
what it likes in the New Testament is the declaration 
that God is love, — and indeed this is the sum and 
substance of all that God has taught us ; but if we 
ask the question, " How is it that no one else ever 
said that God was love ? — that none of the Gentiles, 
however great their learning, and however deep and 
acute their powers of mind, ever rose to this con- 
ception, and that the Romans and Greeks thought 
rather that the gods did not love us, that they were 
envious of our prosperity, and that all that we could 
do was to appease them,— and how is it that this 



172 ALLEGED DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

declaration that God is love was uttered by him who 
leaned on the bosom oi Jesus} " what is the answer? 
Again, what is meant in the New Testament when 
it says that God is love ? It is easy for me to 
believe that God loves me as long as I think that I 
am lovable ; but just in proportion as I find that I 
am unlovable, full of sin and guilt and pollution in 
the sight of God, is it difficult for me to believe that 
God is love. Now the New Testament emphasises 
this difficulty to the very highest point. Surely God 
Himself must know wherein consists the excellency 
and wonderfulness of His love, and God commendeth 
His love to mankind — not in that He is nothing but 
love, but in this, that while we were ungodly, — 
sinners and enemies, — Christ died for us. " Herein is 
love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us, 
and gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 
But if there is nothing else in God but merciful- 
ness and what the world calls " love," why was it 
necessary that there should be a propitiation for 
our sins ? Therefore you find that all the New 
Testament declarations which speak of the love 
of God also show the dark background of the 
wrath of God against all ungodliness, and of our 
utterly lost condition in the sight of God, on account 
of the justice and holiness of God. Take any 
passage that you like — " The gift of God is eternal 
life." " Oh," everybody would say, " yes, that 
sounds beautiful." But what precedes it ? " The 
wages of sin is death." Why are the wages of sin 
death if there is nothing else in God but love ? 
" God so loved the world that he gave his only 
begotten Son " (oh, that is beautiful) " that whosoever 
believeth in him should not pcris/i.'" But why 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 173 

should anybody perish with Christ, or without 
Christ, unless it be that God in His holiness turns 
away from sin, and that the very love of God reacts 
against sin, and that God is a consuming fire against 
it ? Therefore the very point which is the excellence 
of the New Testament, namely, the atonement, the 
sacrifice of Christ on the cross, cannot be under- 
stood at all, except on the basis of the Old Testa- 
ment teaching as to the character of God — namely, 
that God must punish sin, and that the wrath of 
God is the great obstacle, which stands between 
fallen sinners and blessedness and communion with 
Him. And thus it is that the expression, " The 
wrath of God," which is so obnoxious to this nine- 
teenth century, and on account of which they feel 
so estranged from the Old Testament, is a leading 
idea in the New Testament from 'the beginning. 
What did John the Baptist preach ? Wrath against 
evil. What is declared to us in the 3rd chapter of the 
gospel of John ? " He that believeth on the Son 
of God hath eternal life ; but he that believeth not 
the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God 
abideth on him." What does the apostle Paul write 
to the Thessalonians ? " You are waiting for the 
coming of the Lord Jesus from heaven, even Jesus, 
who delivered us from the wrath to come." And 
what is the whole meaning of the book of Revela- 
tion but this — that the Lord Jesus Christ at last is 
revealed in order to take to Himself those who 
trust in Him, while the judgment of God must be 
executed on those who have despised the Gospel. 
Therefore the Old Testament conception of God is 
the very basis and foundation, on which the 
wonderful love of God in the sacrifice of Jesus shines 



174 ALLEGED DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

forth in the New Testament. If Christ crucified is 
the centre of the New Testament, — if, there, the love 
of God shines forth most brightly, — then the cross 
of Christ is misunderstood and misinterpreted (and 
so it is in fact) by all those who reject the Old 
Testament idea of God, and the atonement is made 
to be nothing else but a manifestation of God's love 
(wherein it consists I do not see), and a death of 
witness and of martyrdom unto the truth of God. 

The only difference between the Old Testament 
and the New Testament is this — that the arrange- 
ment of subjects is different. The Old Testa- 
ment puts it in this way, " God is holy ; you are 
sinful ; therefore the wrath of God is upon you. 
Oh that the Redeemer would come to deliver you." 
The New Testament puts it in this way. "He has 
come ; He has redeemed you. Now understand 
how holy God is who could not save you except 
through the blood of Jesus Christ, and now under- 
stand how great and evil a thing sin is, that it 
required the stupendous sacrifice of God's own Son 
to remove it." But the character of God is the 
same throughout. 

There is another point which strikes people, and 
it is this. In the Old Testament we read of 
judgment upon judgment, of God. Adam and Eve 
are banished out of Paradise, and the earth cursed 
on account of their transgression ; then comes the 
judgment of the Flood ; then comes the judgment 
on the Tower of Babel ; then come the repeated 
judgments on the Egyptians and on the enemies of 
Israel, and a great many on Israel itself, — and people 
think that the Old Testament God is the God of 
judgments, and so He is ; but the reason of this is 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 175 

exactly the opposite of what they imagine. The 
reason of it is the mercy of God. God, who had 
Christ always before Him from the beginning of the 
world did not wish that the history of the apostate 
race should come to an end. He desired to post- 
pone the last judgment as long as possible, and there- 
fore He sent these preliminary judgments, in order 
to make it possible for Him to carry on the history of 
mankind. Adam and Eve could not have remained 
in Paradise. It would have been an end of all 
history. The human race could not have continued 
in the days of Noah, but God wished to continue it, 
and therefore there came a judgment, and out of 
that judgment the nucleus of a new development in 
Noah and his household. All the judgments are sent, 
in order, as it were, to make it possible for God to 
continue the dealings of His mercy; 

In the New Testament we have the same 
principle, only the order of things is different. 
There | what God says is this, There is now before 
you a clear space, a long period in which there is an 
amnesty. There will not be judgments, but the de- 
claration that God is reconciling the world unto Him- 
self in Christ Jesus — nothing but pardon, nothing but 
grace. It is the acceptable year of the Lord. But 
the judgment is to come at the end! — the judgment is 
at the end ! Of how much sorer punishment shall they 
be thought worthy who reject this great salvation of 
God. They who do not accept the Gospel invitation 
are treasuring up to themselves, as the apostle Paul 
says in the New Testament, not in the Old, wrath 
against the day of wrath. Therefore just as in the 
Old Testament God is a God of judgment, because 
He wishes to postpone the final judgment, in the 



176 ALLEGED DISCORDANCE BETWEEN TILE 

New Testament we have revealed to us the amnesty 
and the time of the gospel dispensation — not because 
God is not a God of judgment, but because He hath 
appointed a day in the which He shall judge all 
nations through that one Man whom He raised 
from the dead. So you see that the same elements 
are in the New as in the Old Testament. 

Now I must go still further. Believe me, I do 
not want to utter a paradox, but I declare the simple 
truth. As there are in the Old Testament most 
wonderful expressions of the loving-kindness, the 
tenderness, of Jehovah God, such as shine forth, with 
most extraordinary brilliancy and sweetness, even 
after the New Testament revelation — " I will abun- 
dantly pardon," "With the Lord there is plenteous 
redemption," " Can a woman forget her child ? " 
" The mountains shall be parted, the hills be 
removed, but my thoughts of peace towards you 
cannot be removed," " How shall I give thee up, O 
Ephraim ? Why will ye die ? " " With the Lord 
our God there is forgiveness that he may be feared," 
" Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the 
waters," — so there are in the New Testament all the 
fearful declarations of the Old Testament, as I have 
already proved ; but the New Testament severity is 
far greater than that of the Old Testament. 

And why is that ? For the simple reason that 
now the fulness of truth has come in Christ Jesus. 
God in the Old Testament did declare to Israel what 
a great evil sin was, but He never could tell them 
what He has told us, — by Christ. God could not say 
to Israel, " Sin is this — that you would like me not 
to exist : you would like to kill me." Such a severe 
arraignment of the sinner was never made in the 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 177 

Old Testament ; but when men crucified Jesus, then 
sin in its true character came to Hght. You never 
find in the Old Testament such a severe saying as 
this — that sin is enmity against God. Why then, 
do people not say that the New Testament is too 
severe for them to endure it ? Why do they single 
out, in their ignorance, the Old Testament ? Why 
do they not tremble at the New Testament ? Not 
merely is the infinite evil of sin described in the 
New Testament as it never could have been in the 
Old Testament, but it is not from the Old Testament 
pages, but from the lips of Jesus and the words of 
the apostles, that we learn what hell is, where " their 
worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." 

The Old Testament and the New Testament 
both combine in declaring to us God. " God is 
love " must be written over both, with this distinction : 
What is God ? The Old Testament answers that 
question. But what is love ? The New Testament 
answers that question. Unless you know the Old 
Testament when you read " God is love," and do 
not know what God is, — the sentence has no value 
or meaning to you. In the New Testament, 
the whole depths of the eternal counsel and the 
light and love of God, are made manifest ; and we 
see now what wonderful obstacles, what mountains, 
what huge difficulties were removed, through the 
stupendous sacrifice when God spared not His 
own Son but gave Him up unto death. What 
death? — the just for the unjust, bearing the wrath 
of God and tasting death, in its penal connection 
with sin. 

Jesus Christ is the interpretation of God, but 
if you misinterpret Him, how fatal will be that 

N 



178 ALLEGED DLSCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

misinterpretation, — and all misinterpret Christ and 
the New Testament who do not take Christ and 
the New Testament, according to the light which 
God has given through Moses and the prophets. 
And therefore it is that Jesus cannot say to this 
generation what He was able to say to His con- 
temporaries, " Ye believe in God " as He is revealed 
in the Old Testament ; " believe also in me." And 
the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews tells 
us most distinctly, " God, who at sundry times and 
in divers manners, spake unto the fathers by the 
prophets, hath in these last times spoken to us by 
his Son." 

I pass now to the second point. The second 
point is this : In the New Testament God does not 
deal with nations but with individuals. He makes 
no difference between one nation and the other. He 
addresses Himself to the individual. In the Old 
Testament we have the history of a nation, and 
therefore there are in the Old Testament a number 
of things which are difficult to understand. When 
God chose a nation, whom He formed for Himself 
from its very beginning, He acted with the greatest 
condescension, for now God had not to take cognis- 
ance merely of that which was mental and spiritual 
and individual, but of everything which referred 
to a nation's life — of their food and raiment and 
property, and all that concerns their social life. 
And as they were not an isolated nation, but a nation 
that had relationship with other nations, all those 
difficulties and problems that meet us in the history 
of the world are here brought under the direct 
cognisance and superintendence of God. We are 
astonished at war, at its cruelty, at the apparently 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 179 



innocent and purposeless sufferings which it entails, 
— and yet we know that God permits wars, and 
that wars have been the turning-points in history, 
and have often introduced great blessings. And 
thus when we come to Israel they have their 
wars, they have their soldiers. There are to be 
considered the peculiar circumstances and character- 
istics of that rough and cruel age. There we find 
the divine justification. The nations, who inhabited 
the land of Canaan, had filled up the measure of 
iniquity, and those who have read the history 
know that their lives were most pernicious, and that 
the abominations and cruelties of those nations were 
something appalling, and therefore God in His justice 
had to deal with them, for the good of Israel and the 
world. In all this there may be, many things that 
are difficult for us to understand, that pain us, that 
shock us, — even as in the current history of the world 
there are many such startling problems. 

Another difficulty is that the Old Testament 
condescends to all the questions of a nation's life 
— the questions of property and all that is associated 
with this earthly condition; — to the government of a 
nation, to the well-being of a nation, and all those 
evils and difficulties that are connected with national 
life. The adaptation and accommodation of God to 
the weakness and sinfulness of that particular age, 
having to deal with the facts as they existed, — His 
permission of polygamy, and His permission and 
modification of slavery — all these stagger people. 
But why ? Because they do not see the purpose 
that God had in them. It was necessary that -there 
should be a nation out of which there should arise 
Jesus for all nations. This nation was chosen for 



i8o ALLEGED DLSCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

the benefit of all mankind and all families of the 
earth. Neither when God chose this nation, did He 
intend to deal with them as with favourites, but rather 
to deal with them with greater judgment and severity 
than with the other nations. Because He had 
chosen them, therefore He educated them and chas- 
tised them, and brought them under the influence 
of His holiness and His justice. This nation was 
not merely for a time. There is no new covenant 
nation of God. In the new covenant there are the 
children of God scattered abroad, — all of them brought 
to Jesus. There is the flock of Christ, the Church, 
the body of Christ ; but there is no nation that 
is God's nation in the New Testament God has 
only one nation — Israel ; because when He means 
to revive His direct dealings with the world, 
and to renew His direct governmental manifes- 
tation and acts in the world. He has no other 
medium, by which to benefit the other nations, than 
the nation of Israel. Therefore there can be no 
beginning of the millennial age except through the 
ingathering of the people of Israel. In the light of 
the future, will the past be explained. 

People think when they call the Jews God's 
" ancient " people that they are making a great 
concession. They are not God's ancient people. 
They are His present people ; they are His future 
people ; they are His everlasting people ; they are 
His only people. What does the apostle Paul say ? 
"Hath God cast away His people?" — not His 
"ancient" people. If it were "ancient" people He 
had cast them away, because they were of the past. 
"Hath God cast away His people? God forbid!" 
he says, as if it were a blasphemy to suppose so. Let 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 



this be noted. Thus is this national history of Israel 
explained. But, in the meantime, what a benefit has 
it been to all the nations. While we have not got 
in the New Testament the principles that ought to 
guide kings, and rulers, and judges, the social diffi- 
culties of poor and rich — all these are considered in 
the Old Testament ; and there we have the laws of 
God as to national life and all that pertains to it. 

The third difficulty. There are some people who 
say, " It is a strange thing that in the Old Testa- 
ment there seems to be only a present-day religion. 
The rewards promised are earthly ; the punishments 
threatened are temporal. The future seems alto- 
gether dark and vague. In the Psalms and 
Prophets it seems as if they were afraid to die, and 
as if the future were dark to them." On this question 
of the gradual revelation of the future I do not enter 
now, but I will say this : it is a very true character- 
istic of the Old Testament, and full of instruction, 
and the instruction lies in this, that God taught the 
people, and God teaches us, by this : — Eternal life 
means spiritual life. It is not a future life, — and the 
question of how long it will last has nothing to do 
with the essence of God. " Walk before me in the 
sunshine of my favour, and then you please me, and I 
am your God." Whereas the Egyptians were always 
dreaming and speculating about immortality and 
about the future, and how to secure for themselves 
a future existence, — being all the time in darkness 
and bondage. God said to the Israelites, " I Am. 
Love me and serve me." It is quite true that God 
promised to the Jews temporal prosperity if they 
would obey Him, and that He threatened them with 
judgments in case of disobedience. God wished 



i82 ALLEGED DLSCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

thereby to help our weakness, and to incite and 
encourage the people to walk in His ways, as we 
propose rewards to children.^ Lord Bacon has said 
" The Old Testament is the religion of prosperity 
and the New Testament is the religion of adversity." 
There is a truth in this, but a truth that requires to 
be very carefully guarded. There are two things to 
modify it. In the first place it was only the idea 
that was put before Israel, not the reality. God 
wished to teach Israel this : " Although this is a bad 
fallen world, I am the Ruler, and I have connected 
righteousness with happiness, — sin with misery. This 
is My principle in all realms which I have made," 
even as the New Testament says that godliness has 
the promise of this life and of that which is to 
come. 

But was it so always among the Jews ? Were not 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, strangers and pilgrims 
who dwelt in tents ? Was Moses a happy and 
prosperous man ? Was David not a man acquainted 
with grief and with sorrow ? Had not all the godly 
men in Israel, in proportion as they were godly, to 
pass through much tribulation ? " Many are the 
afflictions of the righteous. " Whom the Lord loveth. 
He chasteneth." That was the problem, which some- 
times was a great difficulty to them, and they had to 
say " Fret not thyself because of evil-doers," because 
of the ungodly " spreading himself like a green bay- 
tree." So in actual experience can you say that 
when individuals served God, He rewarded them 
always with earthly rewards ? What is more striking 

^ This is universally God's method with nations, because they have 
as nations no future existence, and all rewards and punishments must be 
visited on earth. 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 183 

than this. The book of Ecclesiastes presents to us a 
• king, honoured, full of power and influence, wealthy, 
intellectual, artistic, tasting everything that this world 
could give, and he says " It is all vanity." And the 
book of Job shows us a man who suddenly, in one 
day, was bereaved of his sons and daughters and 
sheep and cattle and property, and he said " Blessed 
be the name of the Lord." Is that an earthly 
religion ? Is that a carnal religion ? That is the one 
point. 

The other point is this. One reason why 
God in the Old Testament laid so much stress 
upon prosperity following obedience, upon judg- 
ment following disobedience, was, that it is His 
intention to bring about a state of the world, when 
there shall be righteousness, truth, and godliness 
within, and when there shall be no evil without, but 
peace and abundance for the poor and considerateness 
and equity for all men, and when justice and beauty 
shall be established here, and the will of God shall 
be done upon earth even as it is in heaven. And 
therefore all this earthly character of the Old Testa- 
ment is prophetic of the millennium, of that future 
condition which shall be brought about, — not as the 
Utopian people imagine, that the world is getting 
gradually better and happier, and that they will be 
able to do away with poverty, crime, injustice, 
cruelty, sickness and pestilence and war — but 
by the coming of Jehovah in the person of Jesus 
Himself to establish the kingdom. As it is written 
in the 72nd Psalm, when the true Son of David shall 
come then there shall be bread for the poor, and 
then there shall be the manifestation of God's bounti- 
fulness and loving-kindness over the whole earth. 



1 84 ALLEGED DLSCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

There is a fourth difficulty. People say " The 
saints in the Old Testament are so vindictive. They 
ask God to send down judgment upon His 
enemies. They seem to contemplate the destruction 
of the ungodly, nay, to wish for it, and to pray for it. 
That is not a spirit that we admire, nor is it the spirit 
of the New Testament." Now this question has 
been attempted to be solved in different ways. 
Some have said " Yes, it was wrong in them, 
but it is recorded because it was so. They had 
these feelings, but they were wrong." This is no 
answer at all, because all these expressions to 
which I have alluded are embedded in psalms and 
chapters in which the highest spirituality expressed 
itself — faith in God, love to God, hope in His Word, 
devotedness to His cause ; and moreover they are 
embedded in prophecies which Christ has taken to 
Himself The three psalms that are apparently most 
vindictive are psalms that are quoted by our Lord 
when He said, " They hated me without a cause," 
" He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his 
heel against me," " They gave me vinegar to drink " ; 
and by the apostle Peter, when he speaks of the 
judgment that has come upon Judas. Therefore 
these feelings are ratified in the New Testament, as 
feelings in harmony with all that the Spirit of God 
had wrought in these saints. 

A second explanation is this — that it was only 
under the Old Testament dispensation that there 
could be allowance made for these feelings, but that 
they have disappeared and there is nothing in the 
New Testament to correspond with them. This also 
is a false answer. If that is so, the Old Testament 
is not the Word of God as the New Testament is. 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 1S5 

and the God of the Old Testament is different from 
the God of the New Testament. Therefore we 
must consider the question in a more cahn and 
candid way. 

The first question is this — What is the teaching of 
the Old Testament as regards our relation and our 
duties to our enemies ? because after all that is the 
point. I give a very simple answer. When the 
apostle Paul, in the epistle to the Romans, speaks on 
this subject, he does not know any better, higher, more 
perfect commandment than that which is given in 
the Old Testament, " If thine enemy hunger, feed him ; 
if he thirst, give him drink." He quotes from the 
Old Testament what, those people say, is not in the 
Old Testament, and is peculiar to the New Testa- 
ment. From the very beginning God taught Israel 
that they were not to be vindictive, that vengeance 
was His. " If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his 
ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to 
him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth 
thee lying under his burden and wouldest forbear to 
help him, thou shalt surely help him." And there 
are many passages in the book of Proverbs where 
we are warned not to be pleased when they that hate 
us stumble. Therefore the idea that we are to for- 
give and that we are even to help our enemies, was 
commanded in the Word of God by Moses, and was 
well understood by all the Old Testament saints. 

Again, you remember those passages in the book 
of Job and in the Psalms of David, where these saints 
of God, arguing with God and pleading with Him, 
are able to bear this witness to themselves : " We 
have never done harm to those that did no harm to 
us. On the contrary, even when our enemies were in 



i86 ALLEGED DLSCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

distress, we went to their help and their succour." 
Only remember the way in which David treated Saul, 
who was his most bitter enemy without any cause, 
when he was in his power in the cave ; and remem- 
ber that triumph of the forgiveness of injuries, when, 
after the death of Saul, David poured forth that 
magnificent elegy. The wonder is, how he collected 
together so many bright and beautiful features in 
the character of one in whom there was so much to 
blame. Here there was an illustration, such as the 
world had never before had, of the maxim " Do not 
speak of the dead, except what is good and favourable." 
Now when we find this spirit, the question is. How are 
we to account for those passages in which David im- 
plores the judgment of God upon his enemies ? What 
was the motive ? It was not a personal motive, but 
this was the motive — the glory of God, the establish- 
ment of God's kingdom, the manifestation to the 
whole world that there is a righteous God and that 
He judgeth, the preservation of God's chosen people 
for His honour, and the preservation of those things 
which God had entrusted to His nation — His Word, 
and the knowledge of His name. It was for this reason 
that they implored the judgments of God to come 
upon those whose enmity was implacable, and whose 
resistance and violence against God, and God's people, 
there was no hope of conciliating, for there are other 
passages in which David calls upon the nations to 
consider the judgments of God and to turn to Him, 
ere it be too late. Many of those passages are pro- 
phetical, for God promises that He will judge and 
establish His kingdom ; and being given in the spirit 
of prophecy there is nothing else but an assent of the 
believer to the purposes of God. So in the book of 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 187 

Isaiah, it is said that on Babylon, which was the cruel 
enemy of God's people, and which in the future should 
appear again as the great anti-Christian power, seeking 
to destroy God's people and to root out the truth 
from the earth, there would be judgments from 
God, and that the little children should be dashed 
against the stones — that is to say, that the whole race, 
root and branch, should be exterminated because of 
the evil which they did on the face of the earth. In 
poetical language this is reiterated, as Deborah sang 
before, " So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord ; but 
let them that love Him be as the sun when he goeth 
forth in his might." When the prophets and psalmists 
uttered these sayings, was there no mixture of earthly 
passion with them ? No. David, we know, was of 
like passions with us — that he was indignant, that he 
was vehement, that he was carried away. So you 
remember in that beautiful passage, when he had 
gone against Nabal to punish Nabal on account of 
his behaviour to his followers, and Abigail came and 
pleaded with him, and David burst forth with such 
humility, saying, " Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, 
who sent thee this day to meet me : and blessed be 
thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me 
this day from coming to shed blood, and from 
avenging myself with my own hand." He knew 
very well what was of the earth earthy, and what 
was the inspiration of God. 

Is there nothing corresponding to this in the 
New Testament ? That is the question. There 
certainly is, only in the New Testament the judg- 
ment is placed at a distance. Thus Jesus says, 
" Woe unto thee, Capernaum, which art exalted 
unto heaven, thou shalt be brought down to hell ; " 



i88 ALLEGED DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THE 

and to the scribes and Pharisees He says " Woe " 
again . and again ; " Ye serpents, ye generation of 
vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ? " 
and the apostle Paul says, " Alexander the copper- 
smith hath done me much harm. The Lord reward 
him according to his doings." In the book of Reve- 
lation, the Lord Jesus praises the Church, " This good 
thing thou hast, that thou hatest the Nicolaitanes " — 
not the heresy, but the men^ — " whom I also hate " ! 
And when the judgments are described in the book 
of Revelation — those fearful judgments which it is 
difficult for us to read without awe and trembling — 
what is the feeling which those judgments call forth, 
not in Jews, as they are called, carnal Jews, but in 
the holy and loving angels ? " Fear God, and give 
glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is 
come." " Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, 
and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged 
thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and 
prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink ; 
for they are worthy. Even so. Lord God Almighty, 
true and righteous are thy judgments ; " and in 
another chapter, " For her sins have reached unto 
heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 
Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double 
unto her double according to her works : in the 
cup which she hath filled, fill to her double." 

The dispensations were different. God is the 
same ; and the lesson to us who are living in this 
present age, is to remember the glory of God, and 
the one great aim of all His dealings, namely, to show 
forth His praise, and to establish upon the earth His 
kingdom, in righteousness and peace and love, which 
will bring happiness to all the nations of the world. 



OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 189 

There is a very striking confirmation of this in the 
104th Psalm. The 104th Psalm is an echo of the 
1st chapter of Genesis. The ist chapter of Genesis 
gives us the creation of the world, beginning with 
the creation of light, and ending with the creation 
of men, and it sums up everything and says, " It is 
all very good." David in the 1 04th Psalm responds 
to this, and he describes all the universe, so to speak, 
beginning with God, who clothes Himself with light 
as with a garment, and ending with man, who goeth 
forth to his work and to his labour till the evening. 
This fills him with great joy, so he concludes in the 
33rd verse, "I will sing unto the Lord as long 
as I live ; I will sing praise to my God while I have 
my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet : 
I will be glad in the Lord." ,Now there comes an 
abrupt transition, " Let the sinners be consumed 
out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more." I 
remember when this first struck me, I was staggered. 
Up to this verse he shows how beautiful the world 
is, and how good God is, and he is full of gratitude 
and joy, and he sings, and his meditation is sweet, and 
now there comes this thunder and lightning. The ex- 
planation is this. In the ist chapter of Genesis, before 
sin has entered, all is very good. " The Lord beheld, 
and it was all very good." And now this beautiful 
universe has been poisoned, has been defiled, and the 
thoughts of God frustrated by sin. It is as if a 
great artist had produced a wonderful picture, and 
then some one comes and spoils it all, and mars it. 
Then David wishes for the restitution, or the estab- 
lishment of those things which God has promised 
from the beginning by the prophets, namely, the 
kingdom of Jesus Christ and His saints, and Israel, 



igo DISCORDANCE BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS 

and all the nations upon the earth. " Let the sinners 
be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked 
be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise 
ye the Lord," These are very solemn truths. We 
should never think of them without awe, without 
feeling personally humbled to the very dust, without 
feelings of the greatest compassion and tenderness 
towards those that are without, and without being 
stirred up to pray and to work for the ingathering 
of those who are still without the knowledge of 
Christ. Not with a cold heart, or a dry eye, ought 
these great and awful things to be viewed, and it is 
for us to cleave unto the Lord our God, and to seek 
His glory and His only. 



X 



THE PERFECT HARMONY OF THE OLD AND NEW 

TESTAMENTS 

Two further objections to Old Testament by those who believe in the 
New Testament — (5) Old Testament miracles — Not so different 
from those of the New— Occurred at periods of great importance 
when something new to be ushered in — Those chiefly doubted, 
ratified by Jesus Christ : as Balaam, Jonah, etc. — ^Jesus' miracles 
the most frequent and wonderful of all — Jewish miracles chiefly 
national — ^Jesus' individual — (6) The sins of God's people — Nothing 
shows inspiration more clearly than the faithfulness in depicting 
sins of the servants of God — Rothe's statement on this subject — • 
Jonah's description of his own sins — As to Reformation two defects 
— (i) Did not distinguish the dispensations — (2) Did not see clearly 
the important position of the Jews in the economy of God and the 
second advent of our Lord — The good of controversy going on now 
that it obliges Christians to read the whole Scriptures — What holds 
Old and New Testaments together — The very term Old and New 
Testaments objectionable — Gospel everywhere — The one the Book 
of the kingdom ; the other the Book of the Church — The second 
advent of our Lord the key to the union — ^This constantly fore- 
told in Old, and dwelt on in New Testament — That triumphant 
part of Messiah's mission (foretold in Old Testament) yet to be 
fulfilled — The Old and New Testaments coincide in the descrip- 
tion of the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour. 

I BROUGHT before you in the last lecture a few of those 
popular objections which are brought against the Old 
Testament, by people who profess to have faith in the 
New Testament. It is a very strange thing that 
there are not a few who, professing to believe in the 



192 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

scriptures of the New Testament, regard the Old 
Testament with a feeling of perplexity and doubt, 
not to say of antipathy ; and the objections which 
are brought forward by them against the Old Testa- 
ment, I endeavoured to show, were rooted in their 
insufficient understanding of the teaching of the New 
Testament. I have only two more to bring before 
you this morning, and I must pass over them rapidly, 
because there are so many other points to which it 
is necessary to allude, in connection with the subject 
of this address. 

A fifth objection which is brought against the 
Old Testament is on account of the miracles which 
it contains. This objection is brought forward not 
by people who doubt the miracles of the New Testa- 
ment — in that case it would be necessary to con- 
sider the question of miracle in general ; but these 
people believe the miracles that Jesus and the 
apostles wrought, and still they think that the 
miracles of the Old Testament are of a character 
that makes it very difficult to believe in their actual 
occurrence — a strange objection in which there is no 
reason, in which there is only a kind of obscure feel- 
ing and antipathy ; for if we compare the miracles of 
the Old and of the New Testament, we shall find 
that their character is the same. At whatever 
period of the world's history they occurred, they 
could never be interpreted or accounted for by 
the natural law of things. To convert water into 
wine, to raise the dead, to open the eyes of one that 
was born blind — all these things are evidently what 
we call " miracles." 

In the second place, so great is the similarity be- 
tween the Old and the New Testament miracles that 



OF THE OLD AND NEIV TESTA/VEiVTS 193 

it has been one of the arguments of the defenders of 
the mythical theory of the gospels, that it was evident 
that the authors of these books were anxious to 
show, that Christ and the apostles were able to do 
the same wonderful things, which Moses and the 
prophets had done, and that therefore as there was 
the feeding of the children of Israel in the wilderness 
with manna, so there was the miraculous feeding of 
the multitude in the desert ; and as there was the 
raising up of the dead through Elisha, and the healing 
of the leper, so there were similar miracles recorded 
of Christ and of the apostles. 

A third point is this. People are under the 
impression, that on every page of the Old Testament, 
there is some wonderful prodigy which entirely stops 
the course of nature, and which disorders the natural 
development of, things. They say, " Arc we to 
believe those wonderful stories about the wife of Lot 
being turned into a pillar of salt, about the Red 
Sea, about the sun standing still, about the whale 
and Jonah, and so on ? " giving you the impression 
that, according to their view, the Old Testament was 
a series of prodigies. Against this it must be said 
very simply, that, during a period of about three and 
twenty years, there occurred a far larger number of 
miracles in the New Testament time than during all 
the centuries of Israel's history. During the three 
years of Christ's earthly ministry, and during the 
twenty years, of which the Acts of the apostles give 
us a record, there is a far greater number of miracles 
narrated, than in the whole history of the Old 
covenant people, through many centuries. So this 
objection at once falls to the ground. 

And all those miracles, that are recorded in the 
O 



194 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

old history, are recorded as having happened in 
periods of great importance, and of transition, when 
a new thing had to be ushered in — when Israel had 
to be brought out of Egypt, when they had to be 
supported in the wilderness, when they had to 
conquer the land which the Lord had promised to 
them, and again, in the time of general apostasy, 
when they had adopted the worship of Baal in the 
times of Elijah and Elisha ; so that it is not for 
the love of prodigies, that these miracles are intro- 
duced, but as acts and manifestations of a living God 
who transacts supernatural events, the object of which 
is His glory, and the salvation of mankind. 

Another point to be noticed is this, that all these 
miracles, which form the stumbling-block of people 
in the Old Testament, are ratified by Jesus Christ 
and by the apostles ; so that if you do not believe 
the miracle of Jonah, it is not with the book of 
Jonah that you have to do, but with our Saviour 
Jesus Christ Himself; or if you do not believe in 
the Flood, or in the turning of Lot's wife into a 
pillar of salt, you have to do with Jesus, who said, 
" As it was in the days of Noah," and " Remember 
Lot's wife " ; or if you do not choose to believe that 
Balaam's ass spoke, you have to do with the apostle 
Peter, who mentions, that through the voice of an 
irrational creature, God reproved the false prophet. 
There is no miracle spoken of in the Old Testament 
that is a stumbling-block to the present generation, 
— that has not, directly or indirectly, been ratified 
by the authority of our divine Lord and of His in- 
spired apostles. But to do perfect justice, as it is our 
bounden duty to do, there is a difference between 
the Old Testament miracles and the New Testament 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 195 

miracles, — and this difference I wish to point out 
very briefly. 

I think that the miracles of our blessed Saviour 
Jesus Christ stand quite by themselves, because He 
is both God and man ; and when Jesus performed 
miracles He was able to say truly, as recorded in 
the gospel of John, " If I had not done such works 
as none other man did " — not Moses; nor Elijah, 
nor any other man, — for out of that which was in 
Him, He, the Lord, manifested His power. In the 
miracles which are recorded in the Old Testament 
it is always said that they are wrought, that Jehovah's 
glory, not the glory of Moses, might be made mani- 
fest. But when Jesus performs miracles, it is that 
the glory of Jesus may be made manifest. The 
miracles of our blessed Saviour range themselves 
under these several aspects. He is the Mediator, 
the Saviour, the Restorer. All things are under 
His sway. Nature — he can intensify and multiply 
nature in a miraculous way. Thus the five loaves and 
two fishes are sufficient for thousands. The water 
is changed into wine. And He can conquer the 
adverse powers of nature, so that He rebukes the 
winds, and the waves of the sea, and there is a 
great calm. As He is the Lord of nature, so He is 
the Saviour and Restorer ; therefore He changes 
disease into health. He has the power over death ; 
therefore He is able to raise the dead, because He is 
the resurrection and the life. And He is the Lord 
whom all angels and devils must obey. Therefore 
He is able to drive out, and to banish, the servants 
of Satan. So He is Lord over all, — Son of God and 
yet Son of Man. 

But the miracles of Jesus Christ and of His 



196 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

apostles, have all reference to the individual, to 
salvation, to the idea of redemption and restoration. 
The Old Testament, as I explained to you on the 
last occasion, has not so much to do with individuals, 
as with a nation. What the Old Testament history- 
sought to prove was, that Jehovah the God of Israel 
is the true God, and stronger than all the powers, 
in which the nations trust. It did not seek to 
prove that Jehovah pardons the sins of every con- 
trite one, and is able to renew the heart, and to 
restore peace unto the troubled. It sought to show 
that the God of the nation is above all other gods, 
that Israel, in contrast with the nations, has pre- 
eminence and power over all the worldly powers. 
Therefore the miracles in the land of Egypt had, so 
to speak, a cosmic character. They were to show 
to Pharaoh, and to the Egyptians that all those 
natural powers, in which they trusted, were under 
the control of Jehovah. Likewise was this the case 
with the miracles wrought, when, under Joshua, Israel 
entered into the land of Canaan. They were meant 
to show the Canaanitcs, that God was greater than the 
sun and the moon, and greater than all powers in 
which they had confidence. So the miracles of the 
Old Testament have, in one respect, a very striking, 
if I may so speak, stupendous, anti-natural character, 
because they relate to the national history and to the 
manifestation of God, as the God of the nation, versus 
all the other nations who trust in gods and powers 
which are only subordinate or altogether non-existent. 
I pass on now to the last point. Many people 
object to the Old Testament because the sins of God's 
people — Jacob, and David, and Jonah, etc. — are there 
told with such great plainness, that it is difficult for 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 197 

US to believe that men, who were guilty of such sins, 
should continue to be regarded, as the favourites 
and saints of God. Now this is an objection which 
is of great importance. Let me quote the remark- 
able utterance of one of the greatest speculative theo- 
logians of the present century, — the great authority 
on questions of theological ethics, — Professor Rothe 
says, " The opinion which has been so often as- 
serted in modern times that the ethics of the Bible 
do not reach clearness and purity, until we come 
to the New Testament, is altogether false. The 
ethics of the Old Testament and of the New Testa- 
ment are perfectly identical. The Spirit of God 
must always announce the same principles. The 
Old Testament," he says, " never would have been 
written except it had been for the intended New 
Testament, and although the individual saints, who 
are brought before us in the Old Testament, did not 
attain to the idea which is revealed, the revelation 
of God in the Old Testament concerning ethics is a 
perfect revelation." 

The object of the Bible is not to glorify and 
eulogise man, but to glorify God. It is not to give 
us ideal pictures of human characters. We are very 
much inclined to suppose this, and people arc very 
ready to talk of a " holy man," " a very holy man." 
There is no degree in holiness. A holy man is a 
sinner saved, who, by the electing love and power 
of God, is brought nigh to Him. And, there- 
fore, with perfect truthfulness, the Scripture records 
the great sins and falls of God's chosen ones. It 
wishes to impress upon us that all is by grace, — 
that it was not on account of some natural superiority 
of character that God's servants were chosen, and 



198 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

that, after they had been brought to the knowledge 
and the fear of God, it was only grace that sustained 
them, — while there was still within them, even to the 
last, that other law striving against the holy will of 
God. But when Scripture lays bare to us the 
sins of God's saints, with perfect truthfulness, does 
it approve of the sins of God's people ? Does it 
represent them in a fascinating and seducing light ? 
Does it palliate their guilt and culpability ? Does 
it not show to us that God condemned the sin, and 
that God severely chastised each one of His saints 
who fell into sin ? And more than that. The world 
knows about the sin of David, but does the world 
know about the repentance of David, — how deep it 
was, how spiritual it was, how sincere it was, how 
self-humiliating it was — so that, in the face of the 
whole nation, the king confessed his guilt and wrote 
those Psalms, the 51st and the 32nd, in which he 
showed, before the whole world, how deeply he had 
fallen, and that it was only the mercy of God that 
had restored him ? You know well regarding Jonah 
who was disobedient to God, and ran away from God, 
and afterwards murmured, because God pardoned the 
Ninevites, and because the gourd was dried up ? 
Do you ever think that it is Jonah himself who tells 
you of these things that he did ? It is the power of 
divine grace, which restores God's people after they 
have fallen into sin, when they truly repent. God 
delights in His people, but He punishes them and 
rebukes them for all their trespasses. 

But the root of the objection, which, after all, I 
have not touched, lies in what I have already ex- 
plained — the importance attached in this age to what 
people call " ethics " and " morality." The world does 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 199 

not know the difference between morality and godli- 
ness. Morality is a very good and excellent thing, 
but it is not godliness. Godliness includes morality. 
Morality can never be a substitute for godliness. 
The Bible does not divide the human race into 
men who are more or less moral, or who are moral 
and immoral ; but the Bible divides men into two 
classes — the godly and the ungodly, the regenerate 
and the unregenerate — those who belong to Christ's 
flock, and those who do not belong to Christ's 
flock. And therefore it is that you will find so 
many people say, — what they ought to be ashamed 
to say, — that they like Esau better than Jacob, 
when God says " Jacob have I loved and Esau 
have I hated." And why do they like Esau better 
than Jacob ? Because they do not understand Jacob. 
They see a few blemishes in Jacob's character (who 
is there that has none?) but they do not see that 
the whole bent of the man was Godward, that during 
all his life he was walking in communion with God, 
and that the prayer which he uttered on his death- 
bed, interrupting the prophetic prediction concerning 
the twelve tribes, " I have waited, Jehovah, for Thy 
salvation," was the pulsation of the man's whole 
heart. And the Pharisees did not understand why 
the publicans and sinners came to Jesus, just as the 
elder brother did not understand, why there was so 
much rejoicing over the younger son who had 
returned. Thus it is, that men who do not know the 
principle of grace, and who do not know the corrup- 
tion of their own hearts, are so staggered at these 
narratives of the fall and sins of God's people. 

But now I must hasten to the subject that is 
further and chiefly to occupy us to-day. 



THE PERFECT HARMONY 



In my first lecture I showed you the effect, which 
had been produced by the interpretation of the Bible 
through rationalism, — by the mythical theory which 
was produced by pantheism, — by that atheism which 
most illogically and unnecessarily has, through alleged 
results of science, fortified itself in want of faith in 
the living God, in an undue exaltation of reason as 
if it were the judge of revelation or needed no reve- 
lation, and in the Pelagian view of man that he was 
not so sinful as to require an expiation or so corrupt 
as to require regeneration, and in the idea also that 
the world will improve naturally, — not, as the Bible 
tells us, through the judgments and direct interfer- 
ence of Jehovah. 

I must notice some defects in the Reformation 
interpretation of Scripture, and what is generally 
called the evangelical interpretation of Scripture, 
under which we still labour to our great disadvantage. 
The Reformation had two defects. I have spoken 
at great length, and out of the fulness of my heart, of 
the glory of the Reformation. Let me point out now 
these two points in which the Reformers were defi- 
cient. In the first place, they did not distinguish the 
dispensations, although Augustine had already said, 
" Distinguish the times and all difficulties vanish." 
If they had distinguished the dispensations of the 
kingdom, and of the Church, they never could have 
approved of Servetus being put to death because he 
was heretical on the doctrine of the Trinity, for in 
the Church, in the family of God, there is no sword. 
The sword is only in the kingdom. If any man 
deny the truth as it is in Jesus, he certainly ought 
not to be a minister of the Church or a member of 
the Church ; but in this world we Christians, as 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 201 

Christians, have no rights ; we have only duties. 
In the second place, they did not understand clearly 
the important position of the Jews in the economy of 
God, nor did they see clearly the second advent of 
our Lord. Not that either Luther or Calvin held 
those shallow Pelagian views, so common, of a 
gradual amelioration and Christianising of the 
world. Calvin says, " It is a superstition to think 
that the world is improving in religion and morality. 
It is not improving, but it is always going back." 
Luther says, " I know that the world is becoming 
epicurean, — that is to say, they will lose faith in God 
and immortality, and give themselves up to the plea- 
sures of the things of this world, and, then suddenly, 
shall be heard the voice, ' Behold the Bridegroom 
cometh.'" But still they did not see clearly the 
second advent of our Lord, or the difference between 
the Church dispensation and the position of Israel, 
both in the past and in the future kingdom. The 
error which was made subsequently by those who 
preached the saving truths of the Gospel was this — 
that they thought that it was sufficient to preach 
personal salvation, man's sinfulness, the atonement, 
the renewal by the Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit — 
everything that referred to the individual. That is 
the centre, but all the circumference they left out, — 
the whole counsel of God as it is revealed in Scripture, 
the plan of God, the kingdom of God, the creation 
of the world, the creation of man, the unity of the 
human race, the judgment of the Tower of Babel, 
the elective dispensation under Israel, in its contrast 
to what came afterwards. The consequence was 
that, while it was all very good for those, who 
spiritually and experimentally knew about sin and 



THE PERFECT HARMONY 



salvation, the world in its philosophy and in its 
science was constantly undermining the circum- 
ference, so that on all the other points, on which 
the Bible touches, false and anti-Biblical ideas be- 
came current, and each of these points afforded a 
position from which to attack and to assail the 
whole Scripture. 

Now this is one important thing in the controversy 
which is going on at present, that it obliges Christians 
to read the whole Scripture, that wc cannot limit 
ourselves to a few points, which bear upon personal 
revelation, but that we must now acknowledge that 
God has taught us nothing but what is profitable, 
nay, what is necessary. What people generally 
call " edifying," by which they mean something that 
touches upon their feelings or upon their present 
course of action, is not the biblical idea of " edifying." 
The biblical idea of " edifying " is that we should see 
the character of God, and the will of God, and that 
thus we should be built up in our most holy faith. 
It is as if I were to begin the Lord's Prayer by 
saying " Give us this day our daily bread," and to 
pray for bread and for pardon and for guidance and 
for deliverance, and to forget " Hallowed be Thy 
name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on 
earth as it is in heaven." These are the things in 
which is our life, and from which emanate all the 
strength and the guidance, that we need, for our daily 
conduct and our daily difficulties. The Old Testa- 
ment, at present, is the great battlefield, and it is a 
very good thing that it is so. The reasons I must 
reserve for my next address. 

I wish now to speak about the Old Testament 
in its distinction from the New Testament, and to 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 203 

ask this question, " What is the leading idea which 
will enable us to sec the whole, both in its unity and 
also in its characteristic peculiarities?" That the Bible 
consists of two parts is evident — historically evident. 
This is not a theory : it is a fact. The one part was 
written before the advent of Christ, the other was 
written after the advent of Christ; the one in Hebrew, 
the other in Greek ; the one believed in by the Jews, 
who reject the other ; the other as well as the Old 
Testament believed in by the Church of Christ. 
Now this last fact is the clue to the whole question. 
During the times of the Gentiles, while Israel is under 
the displeasure of God, and estranged from Him, there 
is the Church, as a witness for God, and the name 
which was formerly " Jehovah " lives among them as 
" I Jesus." Therefore the one set of books belongs 
to Israel, and has reference to the past history of 
Israel, and to the future glory of Israel, and the 
other set belongs to the Church, in which there 
are both Jews and Gentiles, having reference to the 
peculiar position which shall be assigned to them, at 
the second coming of our blessed Lord and Saviour. 
A simple Christian who has been instructed in the 
saving truths looks upon the whole, as one. He sees 
the continuity. The books of the Old and of the 
New Testament appear to him like a ring, or like a 
circle ; for as in the first three chapters of Genesis 
we are told of the creation of heaven and earth, 
and of Adam and Eve, and afterwards of the serpent 
by whom our first parents were led into disobedience, 
so in the three last chapters of the book of Revela- 
tion these points are taken up exactly in the same 
method. First, Satan is cast into prison and made 
harmless ; then there is the marriage of the Lamb 



204 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

and of the Bride ; and then the new heaven and the 
new earth in which the full glory of God is made 
manifest. The history is also continuous. Malachi 
says, " There will come the precursor." The gospel 
virtually begins, " There was a man sent from God, 
whose name was John." The ist chapter of the book 
of Matthew shows to us that Abraham, David, the 
captivity, and Jesus — form a continuous history. So 
it appears to them as a ring or a circle. Or again, 
when they think of promise and fulfilment, it appears 
to them as a tree which is an organic whole. Or again, 
when they think of the history going on, it appears to 
them as a river which flows with increasing force and 
beauty until at last it passes into the ocean. Or 
again, when they think that the one thing is pre- 
paratory to the other, it appears to them as a house, 
— the Old Testament the foundation and the 
New Testament the superstructure. Or it appears 
to them as a riddle : the Old Testament states the 
problem in all its complex difficulty ; the New 
Testament gives the solution in its majestic sim- 
plicity. Or it appears, as a lock and key : the 
lock is very complicated with many wards, some 
of them very delicate ; the key exactly fits in, and, 
without straining or altering any of the wards, 
opens it. Or again, it appears to them like that 
glorious scene when there were multitudes before 
Him and multitudes behind Him, and in the 
middle there was Jesus, and both they that were 
before and they that followed after, said, " Hosanna 
to the Son of David." Or it appears like those 
two men who brought the grapes from the promised 
land to show to Israel what a blessed, fertile 
country it was. Both carried the same bunch of 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 205 

grapes, but the man who went before it had only a 
passing glance of it when he took it up. The man 
who went behind saw the grapes, and he saw the man 
that went before. Thus were the prophets, Christ in 
the middle, and the apostles who saw both Christ 
and the prophets. But my favourite comparison is 
this. It is like a day, and you know that in Scrip- 
ture the evening comes first and then the morning. 
It was evening and it was morning — one day. So 
there comes first the night, so to speak, of the Old 
Testament, in which the moon of promise and the 
stars of prophets were shining and gladdening and 
comforting the hearts of God's people, and then there 
came the brightness of the morning — yet one day. 
Still more is it like that child, of whom King Solomon 
said " Divide it," and the mother cried out " By no 
means slay the child " ; for to divide Old Testament 
and New Testament is to take away the life of 
both, for they are not merely connected, nor are 
they merely harmonious, but they interpenetrate 
one another. The same breath of life and the same 
covenant blood of Him that died for us pervades 
them all. 

But if we sec the unity of Old and New Testa- 
ment and the contrast, also, between the Old and 
the New Testament, the question now is this : What 
holds the Old and the New Testament together, in 
such a way that the Old Testament never is super- 
seded, — that what is peculiar in the Old Testament 
is secured, that what is peculiar in the New Testa- 
ment is secured, and yet both live together ? To 
answer this question I must begin by saying that 
the usual designation " Old " and " New " Testa- 
ment appears to me not merely imperfect, but 



2o6 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

liable to great misunderstanding. Why should the 
books of Moses, and the prophets, be called Old 
Testament. Certainly " Old " conveys the idea of 
antiquity as if it had passed away, and the idea of 
old covenant conveys the idea of the law. But I 
say Moses, and the prophets, are not Old Testament 
at all. The Gospel is everywhere. One of the 
objections that modern criticism has brought against 
the later books, the later historical books and the 
prophets and the Psalms, is this — that they seem to 
think little of the Levitical institutions ; that they 
ignore, as it were, the law ; that they lay great stress 
upon other things — the attitude of the heart towards 
God and the coming salvation of our Lord. Now, 
the object for which this argument is pressed is 
altogether erroneous, but the idea is not erroneous, 
for let us look away now from the five books of 
Moses which are generally considered the law. All 
the other books are full of the gospel, are full of 
Jesus, are full of atonement, are full of the promise 
of the Spirit, are full of that spiritual relationship 
which we have to God, so that the Christian Church 
can sing the Psalms. There is nothing Levitical 
in the Psalms. Come we, then, to the five books of 
Moses. Show me the law in the book of Genesis. 
It is not there. There is no law there. " Abraham 
believed God, and it was counted to him for right- 
eousness." " I am the Lord. Walk thou before 
me." And in the book of Deuteronomy there is 
given what the apostle states : — " The law is 
spiritual"; Deuteronomy sums up the whole in this: 
" Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart, and 
thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" The 
whole of that book is, what you might call an 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 207 

evangelical exhortation, to serve the God who has 
redeemed us. There remain Exodus, Leviticus, 
and Numbers. Well, what about Exodus ? It is 
gospel throughout. Why did God bring Israel out 
of Egypt ? First reason : election. He had chosen 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; and the nation, that 
was to descend from them, went back to the election. 
And the second reason is the blood of the paschal 
lamb, and the institution of the tabernacle. Is that 
law or is that gospel ? Is not that mediation ? Is 
not that the sacrifice of Christ, under every possible 
aspect ? Is not that the down-coming of God — the 
descent of God to meet His people because He is the 
God who redeems them, and because He is the God 
who sanctifies them by the Holy Ghost ? As to the 
book of Leviticus — read the epistle to the Hebrews, 
and say whether it is law or gospel. In the book 
of Genesis we see Abraham offering up Isaac, his 
only son. In the book of Exodus we see the blood 
of the paschal lamb. In the book of Leviticus we 
see the high priest entering, once a year, into 
the Holy of Holies, with blood. In the book of 
Numbers we see the brazen serpent lifted up, that 
whosoever looks may be saved. And in the book 
of Deuteronomy we see the " prophet like unto me 
whom the Lord thy God will raise up from among 
thy brethren. Him shalt thou hear." It is all 
gospel. Gospel is not the distinguishing character- 
istic of the New Testament. Law is not the 
distinguishing characteristic of the Old Testament. 
That I firmly maintain. This is the characteristic : 
the one is the book of the kingdom and the book 
of Israel ; the other is the book of the Church. 
In the one God manifests His promise, and it is the 



2o8 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

promise that has reference to this earth. Israel is 
the nation. Palestine is the country. All the 
nations of the world are the circumference. Jehovah 
is the King, and He Himself will come, and, after 
judgments on the nations and chastisements on His 
own people, He will save and glorify Israel. That 
is the promise of the Old Testament from beginning 
to end. As Habakkuk says, " The prophecy is for 
the appointed time. It hasteth to the end." Liter- 
ally " it pointeth to the end." " Though it tarry, 
wait for it. It will not disappoint, but it will surely 
come." This is the kingdom of which the angel 
spoke to the Virgin Mary. This is the kingdom of 
which Mary spoke, and of which Zechariah spoke, 
and of which the disciples spoke, when they asked 
the ascending Lord, " Wilt thou at this time restore 
the kingdom unto Israel ? " It is the book of the 
kingdom ; it is the book of Israel ; and during the 
present dispensation the book, as it were, still 
belongs to Israel, and also belongs to the Church 
that is waiting for its fulfilment. We now come to 
the New Testament. The New Testament has also 
a point to which it looks ; and what is that point ? 
Oh, I will speak freely on this subject. It is the 
second advent of our Lord, when He will return 
with His saints, and when He will make Himself 
manifest to Israel and to the whole world, not in 
order that the last judgment may be held, but that 
another historical period may be ushered in, when 
God's will shall be done upon this earth as it is in 
heaven, and when Jesus Christ and the transfigured 
saints shall come to be seen and to be acknowledged, 
— and then there shall be fulfilled the promises which 
God has given from the beginning of the world. 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 209 

When He comes Israel will say, "It is Jehovah, and 
it is His first advent." The Church will say, " It is 
Jesus, and it is His second advent." Israel will say, 
" He has come to take possession of the throne of 
His father David, and Jerusalem will be glorified 
and will be His nation." And the Church will say, 
" He is glorified in the saints, and admired in all 
them that believe, and we, whom He has redeemed 
with His blood, shall reign with Him on the earth." 
This is what all the apostles taught, and taught 
constantly. Scarcely are the Thessalonians converted 
from idolatry, before the apostles teach them, to 
wait for the coming of God's Son from heaven. 
There is no summary given in the apostolic epistles, 
of what we believe, that does not bring in " the 
blessed hope, the glorious appearing (notice the ex- 
pression) of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus 
Christ." Purposely the expression is the Jehovah, 
who will appear unto Israel. It is Jesus who appears 
with the Church — the same thing, — " the great God 
and our Saviour Jesus Christ." And the angel 
explained it to the disciples : " This same Jesus shall 
so come." It is the next thing which is to happen. 
He has left you, and the next thing that is to 
happen is that He will return. Now I will confirm 
it ; and if there are any here who are in doubt 
on the subject, — Do, I beg of you, consider it. 
Take, now, the position of the apostles. They were 
told to go into all the world and to evangelise. 
Israel was without the knowledge of the Messiah. 
The nations were sunk in ignorance and idolatry. 
The whole field was before them. Why do they 
trouble about the end ? Have they not plenty to 
do ? Many people tell us, " Do not speak to us of 

P 



THE PERFECT HARMONY 



the second advent. It is for us to missionize and to 
convert the world." Nobody objects to your con- 
verting the world, if you can do it. Why is it that 
these apostles, who are just beginning their work, do 
not say to the congregations, " Only wait. It is 
quite true that now the majority is against us ; but, 
century after century, that will change. Christianity 
will leaven the world " — leaven never used in a good 
sense, but always in a bad sense — " Christianity will 
leaven the whole world and bring all civilisation and 
knowledge and art into its sphere." No ; but what 
they say to their congregations is this : " The mys- 
tery of iniquity has already begun to manifest itself. 
Little children, it is the last time. Hasten to the 
coming of the Lord Jesus, knowing that the last 
times shall be perilous times, — and we wait for our 
Lord Himself to come and establish His kingdom." 

Second objection. People tell us, when we speak 
about the second advent, " Have we not enough 
to say about the first advent, the incarnation, the 
crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension, the teach- 
ing of our blessed Saviour, the example of our 
blessed Saviour?" Oh yes; but the apostles who, 
as it were, had yet the transcendent glory of the 
first advent, irradiating their countenances and 
solemnising their hearts, — who had heard the words 
which flowed from His blessed lips, — who had seen 
Him die on the cross, — to whom He had appeared 
after His resurrection, and who had beheld how He 
was taken up in a cloud — although all these stupend- 
ous, magnificent, and most blessed facts of the first 
advent were so close to them, they could never 
dissociate it, from the appearing of our great God 
and Saviour, from the return of our blessed Lord 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 211 

Jesus Christ, And why should the gospel of the 
apostle John, which he wrote in order that faith 
might have its right foundation, and the epistles of 
the apostle, which he wrote in order that we might 
know the true character of love both to God and 
man — why should they only be read and appre- 
ciated by the Church, while the other book, the 
Revelation, of which he himself says, " Blessed is he 
that readeth and they that hear the words of this 
prophecy," is ignored — why should that book not be 
brought continually before our gaze ? The attitude 
of the Christian, whether he lives in the first century 
or in the nineteenth century, or in the twenty-ninth 
century if there will be such a century in the present 
dispensation, remains entirely the same. Some 
people may say, " But, you ^ce, the apostles were 
mistaken, Jesus Christ did not come " ; or they may 
say that Bengel was mistaken because Jesus Christ 
did not come, when he prophesied He would. That has 
nothing to do with it — nothing whatever to do with it. 
This is the point — that, during this whole dispensation 
of the Church, the world will not get better, and 
that the only object both for the Church and for 
the world is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Having this expectation of the heart, we will keep 
ourselves from the spirit of the world, and know that 
in this dispensation it is for the Church to witness, 
to suffer, to hold fast, and to be faithful. The illus- 
trious Bengel made this remark : " The Christian 
Churches have forgotten the hope of the Church, 
but they still exhort people to be faithful, and to be 
unworldly, and to be patient ; but in the New Testa- 
ment, all exhortations to be unworldly, and to be 
faithful, and to be diligent, are based upon this fact 



THE PERFECT HARMONY 



— that the Lord is coming. ' What God has joined 
together, let not man put asunder.' " 

And now we must consider the connecting Hnks 
which show in the Old Testament, that the coming 
of Jehovah is identical with the coming of Jesus, 
and show in the New Testament, that the coming of 
Jesus is identical with the coming of Jehovah. 
There is far more said in the book of the kingdom, 
as I shall now call it, or in the book of Israel, of 
the second advent than of the first advent — far more, 
and for this simple reason : If everything concerning 
the first advent and the rejection of Jesus by His 
people Israel had been plainly and clearly foretold, 
the coming of Jesus to Israel would have been a fore- 
gone conclusion ; — it would not have been possible 
that the nation should have been tested, as God 
wished to test them. "At last He sent His Son. 
Peradventure they will listen to Him." He had to 
come, as it were, incognito, and it was necessary for 
them to have the first advent, and the rejection of 
Jesus, clouded and veiled, and so mixed up with 
the second advent that the difficulty could only be 
overcome by the mysterious thing which we call 
faith, and which is called forth by the power of 
God. Yet there were many things in the Old 
Testament that showed to them the great problem, 
which we can solve now from the New Testament 
point of view. Our Lord Jesus referred to it. " How 
does David call Him Lord, when He is his Son. 
Why does He say unto Him, ' Sit Thou at My right 
hand ' ? That is not in Jerusalem. You expect 
Messiah. You expect rightly the Messiah to be 
your King. But this servant of the Lord, this 
Son of David — the Holy Ghost by David calls 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 213 

Lord, and His position is at the right hand above. 
How is that ? " He refers also to the prophecy of 
Daniel. " From henceforth you shall see the Son of 
Man in power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." 
Daniel predicts the four monarchies ; there comes 
direct from above, from heaven, the fifth monarchy, 
which is the everlasting kingdom. That is the 
stone cut out without hands, and it is the Son of 
Man coming in the clouds from heaven. But how 
should He get there ? Whoever heard of the Son 
of Man from heaven ? Is this the root out of a dry 
ground ? Is this He who was born in Bethlehem 
Ephratah ? The Son of Man from heaven, — the 
rejection of Jesus, and the exaltation of Jesus. 

Now He comes down. Therefore the apostle 
says to the Thessalonians, " You wait for the coming 
of Jesus from heaven." The first time He came 
from heaven, the second time He will come from 
heaven. This shows you how, in the Old Testament 
we have already indication, that the Jehovah who 
comes to establish the kingdom on earth is none other 
than He, who is described in the book of Zechariah. 
" They shall look unto him whom they have pierced ; 
and his feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives 
which is before Jerusalem on the east." In the New 
Testament the apostle Peter says to the Jews, 
" Repent that your sins may be blotted out, in order 
that times of refreshment may come from the pres- 
ence of the Lord, when he shall send Jesus who is 
your Messiah." And the apostle Paul says to the 
Romans, " All Israel shall be saved." Why ? Be- 
cause it is written in the prophet Isaiah, that out 
of Zion shall come the deliverer. Therefore, in the 
New Testament, both in the gospels and in the 



214 THE PERFECT HARMONY 

epistles, the coming of the Lord Jesus is connected 
with the national restoration and blessing of Israel, — 
or, in other words, the coming of Jehovah ; and so 
until we come to the blessed book of the Revelation. 
There we have all summed up in this book of the 
kingdom and this book of the Church. There we 
see the unity of the whole record, which God has 
given to us. He will come again. Jehovah means 
the coming one ; and now He is called Jesus, who 
was, and is, and is to come, and of whom the Church 
says, " Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly." 

And now, in conclusion, let me just say one word 
about the attitude of the Church. In the 6th chapter 
of the gospel of John, we have two miracles inti- 
mately connected, — the feeding of the multitude in 
the wilderness, and Christ appearing to the disciples 
in the midst of the sea, when they are in the storm. 
The wilderness represents the world in its poverty, 
in its hunger and in its absolute destitution. It 
can provide nothing for the real wants of mankind. 
Jesus is there, with His disciples ; and, through the 
disciples, He, with five loaves and two fishes, feeds 
the multitude abundantly, so that there are basketfuls 
left, — that is the word that grows and is multiplied. 
Simple, mean, insignificant, powerless, altogether in- 
significant, it appears to men. Weak are the dis- 
ciples whom Jesus Christ makes His agents ; but the 
miracle is done, and, for eighteen centuries, thousands 
and thousands of hungry ones have been fed, and 
have found life and strength everlasting. The sea is 
the emblem of the world, not in its poverty and 
hunger, but in its unrest, and in its opposition to, and 
enmity against God ; and the wind and the storms 
that blow are the emblems of Satan, and of all the 



OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS 215 

agents of Satan, who do everything to destroy the 
Church, And Christ is no longer in the midst of 
the disciples, but on a mountain, high, apart, praying 
to the Father. And the disciples are left alone in 
the ship ; and it is for them to row and to toil ; but 
they make no progress, for the world always remains 
the same. No apologetics will bring it one inch 
nearer to the end, till at last, in the fourth watch, 
Jesus Himself comes; and immediately — immediately 
— the ship is safe, close to shore. Amen. 



XI 



THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 
SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 

Moses and the Prophets to be read in the light of the apostoHc writ- 
ings — First principles discussed as much as ever — Agreement of 
Celsus and the modern Darwinians — Weakness of modern apolo- 
gists who separate Christ from the Old Testament — The double 
sense of the law — The Old and New Testaments, as a stereo- 
scope, give together the complete view of Jesus — Schopenhauer's 
definition of a book of thought, applied to the Bible — It is or- 
ganically united — The Bible not a literary production but a part 
of God's dealings with Israel and the Church — The Jews cannot 
now understand the Old Testament because they will not consider 
it in the light of the New Testament- — The book of Israel (O.T. ) 
and the book of the Church (N.T.) have strong similarities in 
construction — Moses' authorship of the Pentateuch shown to be 
essential — The Pentateuch as historical, prophetical, etc., clearly 
the basis of all the other books. 



I WISH to-day, first, to offer you a few remarks, on 
the present state of opposition to Christianity, and to 
the Old Testament especially ; then to confirm and 
illustrate, in a few words, the two positions which I 
maintained in my last lecture, namely, that the one 
central and leading idea which throws light, both 
upon the identity of Old and New Testaments, and 
also upon their contrast, is the second advent of our 
blessed Lord, and that, therefore, the scriptures of 
Moses and the prophets would be more properly 
termed, " book of the kingdom and of Israel," and 



THE TWO BOOKS ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 217 

the scriptures of evangelists and apostles " book of the 
Church" ; and, after having done this, I wish to show 
to you the reasons, why it is both rational and accord- 
ing to the will of God, that we should always read 
Moses and the prophets, in the light of the apostolic 
writings. And lastly, I wish to say a few words on 
the structure, of both the earlier and the later books. 
It may seem strange at first sight that when 
Christianity has been in the world for so many 
centuries, and when, almost from the beginning, 
earnest and thoughtful defenders of the faith have 
refuted the manifold objections, which are brought 
against the truth, and have pressed with great clear- 
ness, skill, and earnestness, the multiform and cumu- 
lative evidence for the Gospel, the conflict between 
.faith and unbelief is going on at present, as much as 
in any age of the past. And this is still more strange, 
when we remember that the points at issue which 
are debated at the present are not secondary points, 
but are points of the most elementary and funda- 
mental character ; if there had been ten points at 
issue between Christians and the world, and six of 
these points had been established, and now there 
was still controversy about four remaining secondary 
points, it would not be so wonderful ; but what a 
wonderful thing it is that, within the last ten or 
twenty years, the points of debate are of the most 
elementary character, such as whether there is a 
personal God, whether revelation and miracle are 
possible, whether Jesus is more than man. The 
young especially are perplexed, because they are 
labouring under a mistake : they fancy, that while 
Christianity may have been able to hold its ground 
during past centuries, such is the development of 



2i8 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

human knowledge, and of the powers of the human 
mind, that we have now arrived at a height, where 
Christianity is no longer tenable. They forget, as 
the apostle explains to us, that the opposition of 
human wisdom and reason to Christianity is not an 
accidental thing, but that it is essential, and that it 
is based upon the inherent character and nature, 
both of Christianity and of the world. When the 
apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians " Not many 
wise after the flesh are called," I should like to ask 
a number of people what that — " wise after the flesh " 
means, and when he says that the Gospel is fool- 
ishness to the Greeks, he does not imagine that that 
is peculiar to his own period. He does not appeal 
from his own time to future generations, who may 
be more enlightened, and more wise, and more in- 
clined to receive the Gospel ; but he makes a general 
statement, that in every age of this dispensation, 
unregenerate man is not able to understand the 
things of God, and that they must be revealed to 
him by the Spirit. So far, then, from being any 
discouragement to us, much as we regret and lament, 
that at the present day the opposition against 
Christianity is as vehement and fierce, as ever it was, 
and that the attacks are made on the most central 
and vital points of the truth, — we see in this only a 
corroboration of the testimony of the apostle, and 
only a proof of what we 'all have experienced — that 
no man can call Jesus Lord, save by the Holy Ghost. 
■ The attacks of unbelief against Christianity, 
and against the Scripture, (for to attack the Scrip- 
ture is to attack Christianity), vary according to dif- 
ferent modes of thought, and according to different 
historical and social circumstances, as the world 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 219 

advances. The assailants are always shifting their 
ground. According to the metaphysics of the 
day, their objections are framed. They are modern, 
but they are never new. To corroborate this I 
bring before you a very striking fact. The first 
attack against Christianity in a systematic form of 
which history has record is the book of Celsus, 
written in the year 150 of our era, — and in this 
book Celsus attacks Christianity in this way. In the 
first place he says, " You tell a great many wonderful 
things about Jesus. Why do you suppose, that those 
wonderful things are truer, than the many fables and i 
myths, which other nations and other people tell i 
about their gods and demigods ? And what a strange 
thing it is, that this Jesus was not able, to attach 
to him so much even his own disciples, as to render 
them firm in the hour of trial. And what evidence 
is there of his resurrection, but the heated imagina- 
tion of a woman, who was a devoted follower of his, I 
and who said that she had seen a vision of the risen 
one ? " Again he says, " If God " (he did not believe 
in God in our sense) " is omniscient and omnipotent, 
why does he require a messenger to benefit mankind ? 
And what a religion is this, that addresses itself to 
the ignorant, to fishermen, artisans, and poor people 
that have no learning, and that addresses itself also 
to people of bad character, for we know that no bad 
character ever can become a good character." And 
again he says, " You think far too much of man. 
Why is man of so much importance, that such great 
things should be done for him ? Why do you place 
man so high above the animals, for we see among 
the animals skill, and reason, and forethought, and 
gratitude, and sagacity, — nay, some of them are 



220 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

greatly in advance of us. And what do you imagine, 
that this whole world is ? Do you think that it is 
better at one time than at another ? — that there is 
in it purpose and progress ? The world is always 
the same. The combination of things remains always 
the same. It neither alters nor improves nor de- 
teriorates." These things were written, after 150 
years of our era. Are they not exactly like the 
things, said by Strauss, against the truth of Chris- 
tianity ? Is it not the voice of the Darwinian, which 
we hear in every sentence? The same ideas are 
presented, the same objections made, the same fun- 
damental position is held. The apostles were the 
teachers of all nations. The apostles never de- 
scended into the territory of their opponents. They 
did take notice of their objections and refuted them, 
but always from the standpoint of faith. The 
apostles never said, " Now we shall look at the 
thing, metaphysically. We shall leave out of view 
the authority of the Bible. We shall argue with 
you as a metaphysician with a metaphysician, as 
a logician with a logician, as a historian with 
a historian," — never for a single moment. The 
apostle said to the Athenians, that all the time 
of their former magnificent history, full of meta- 
physical speculation and of wonderful culture, was 
the time of ignorance, and that God had sent him, 
out of the fulness of the revealed truth, to show 
to them the things of God. This, then, is, and will 
be, as long as this present dispensation lasts. Truth 
and unbelief will contend, and there will be no 
victory acknowledged. True ! there are many 
arguments brought forward in the present day, 
which could never have been brought forward 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 221 

before. The very stones are crying out. Within 
the last twenty or thirty years, the evidences for the 
historical truth and accuracy of the Old Testament 
Scriptures, especially as to the books of Moses, have 
been confirmed, in the most striking way, by the 
discovery of the Assyrian and Egyptian monuments. 
That is perfectly true ; but the prejudice is too deep, 
and too much rooted in the very centre of the 
human heart, for any of these arguments, precious 
and valuable as they are, to do more than rouse 
attention. After that has been aroused, there re- 
mains the decision, as Christ said to* the messengers 
of John the Baptist. Miracles are done. But these 
miracles will never force you to believe. Miracles 
arrest your attention, and then comes the decision. 
" Blessed is he that is not offended in Me." The 
Old Testament has been made specially the object 
of attack in the present day, and it is well that it is 
so. Nothing better could have happened. I will 
tell you why : I believe in Jesus, and I believe the 
revelation, which, through Jesus, was given to us by 
the apostles, to have been not merely the word of 
God, but the highest reason, — absolute wisdom and 
truth. Now when I find that Jesus always founded 
His claims and based His teaching, and explained all 
the facts of His life, death and resurrection, by 
reference to Moses and the prophets, and when I 
find that the apostles, even when they went to the 
heathen, who did not know Moses and the prophets, 
preached to them, that Christ died and rose again 
according to the Scriptures, and did not try to prove 
the authenticity or divinity of the Scriptures, except 
by their inherent power, — then I say there is no other 
way of proving the truth, or even of stating the truth. 



222 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

but by reference to Moses and the prophets. But 
in the latter days, Christian apologists have pursued 
quite a different method. What they have said is 
this : " There are so many objections against the Old 
Testament, but, after all, it -is not of great import- 
ance. Let us pitch that overboard, or, at all events, 
leave it out of consideration. Let us narrow the 
issue. When we speak to infidels and sceptics, let 
us leave out the Old Testament. We shall say 
simply, * Here is Christ, look at the character of 
Christ, how noble, how perfect, how beautiful. Is 
He not different from all other men ? is He not 
greater than all other men ? is He not unique ? ' " 
Verily He is. What follows ? They have imagined, 
— that by presenting Christ apart from the soil in 
which God made Him grow and spring up, apart 
from the preparation for Him by the whole history 
of Israel, apart from the teaching which God gave to 
His people by Moses and the prophets, — by putting 
Christ before men simply as a human picture, 
appealing to human reason, as if He had dropped 
down from the heavens, — they would gain the 
assent of people. What assent is gained ? Assent 
is gained, but of what nature ? To do justice 
to the Unitarians, and to the old rationalists in 
Germany, they had a most sincere admiration of the 
beauty of Christ's character, and they were ex- 
ceedingly skilful, in showing the wonderful features 
of His moral excellence, harmony, and perfection. 
They were quite sincere and enthusiastic about it. 
But between Christ being the best man, and Christ 
being the Son of God, — between these positions, there 
is no bridge. Faith must bridge it over, and faith 
can only bridge it over, when we see that Christ is 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 223 

the One who is alone the fulfilment of that constant 
series of condescending, redemptive manifestations, of 
which the Old Testament is the record. But now God 
compels these half-and-half Christian apologists, — 
by the unbelieving world attacking the Old Testa- 
ment, — to do what they ought to have done from the 
beginning, because Christ and the apostles plainly 
impressed it, — and not to imagine that their philo- 
sophical method is superior to that which God Him- 
self has laid down. This is a very important point, 
and those of you who know what is going on in the 
churches, and have watched things for the last twenty 
or thirty years, will see that it does not merely 
involve apologetics, but it refers to the whole mode 
of preaching and teaching the blessed Gospel of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. The ark sometimes fell into 
the hands of the Philistines, but the Philistines 
could not do anything with the ark of God. It was 
of no use to them. Sooner or later they must hand 
it back to Israel. The interpretation of Scripture 
will receive no benefit or light, worth .speaking of, 
but from the Church of Jesus Christ herself. It is 
quite true, for I wish to do justice to all, that the 
rationalists, looking upon the Bible as a human 
book, and studying the Bible diligently and labor- 
iously, with a vast amount of philological and historical 
erudition and skill, have brought out many valu- 
able facts, and have established many very valuable 
interpretations. It is also true that another school 
of interpretation, looking at the Bible from the 
aesthetic and poetical point of view, like that 
great man Heine, have contributed much to the 
understanding of Scripture. It is further true that 
the best exponent of the modern critical treatment 



ft24 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

of the Old Testament, Ewald, a man of profound 
earnestness and moral elevation, finding in the 
Old Testament the expression of the highest in- 
tuitions and religious aspirations of the human 
mind, but not a supernatural inspiration from above, 
has brought out much, both of the spirit and of the 
letter of the old history and of the old teaching. 
But the real light on the Scripture can only proceed 
from those who, by the selfsame Holy Ghost which 
breathed the Scriptures, have been taught to believe 
the things, that are contained in the Scriptures, 

Why did the Reformers, as it were, introduce a 
new era, in the understanding and interpretation of 
Scripture ? Because they had hold of the central 
idea, — justification by faith in Jesus Christ. If 
you have anything, that Scripture teaches, firmly 
established in your mind, it will throw light upon 
the whole Scripture. For instance, the doctrine of 
the Holy Ghost. Well, from Genesis to the book 
of Revelation, if you have that doctrine of the Holy 
Ghost clearly established in your mind, you will see 
a unity, a comprehensiveness, an organic illustration 
of that doctrine, which will confirm your faith in the 
whole Scripture. Now, what I asserted in my last lec- 
ture, and what I have asserted ever since I have'been in 
the ministry, and hope to assert as long as God may 
spare me, is this — that the one central point, and the 
highest point from which the whole of Moses and the 
prophets, and the whole of the gospels, epistles, and 
Apocalypse, can be comprehended, both in their unity 
and in their diversity, is the glorious appearing of the 
great God and Saviour — Jehovah coming to Israel, 
to Jerusalem, to restore the kingdom to the nation — 
Jesus, that Jehovah, coming to the Church to receive 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 225 

the saints, that they in heavenly places may reign 
with Him. 

As I reminded you, to call the books of Moses 
and the prophets " Old Testament " is liable to be 
misunderstood, although I do not say that it is in- 
correct. Jesus Christ used the expression, " Moses 
and the prophets," "Moses,, the prophets, and the 
Psalms," and " the Scriptures," and so did the apostles. 
But there is no authority for saying " Old 
Testament " or " New Testament." In the ancient 
Church they called what we call the New Testa- 
ment " Gospel and Epistle," because, first, they laid 
almost exclusive importance on the writings of Paul, 
who was the apostle of the Gentiles. But as 
" Testament " is generally understood by people in 
the sense of covenant, and tJiey fancy that Old 
Testament means that these books refer to law, I 
must remind you of what you all know. Law, 
in Scripture, in the New Testament especially, 
has two significations — a narrow and a large 
one. In its narrow meaning, it is that which 
is opposed to gospel — the works of the law, the 
covenant of works. " Do this and thou shalt live : 
if you do not do this you are under the curse." 
Therefore the apostle says, " They that are under 
the law are under a curse. The law worketh wrath. 
The law is the strength of sin." Only think of the 
Pharisee, Saul, saying this of the law. It sounds 
almost blasphemous. " The law worketh wrath : 
the law is the strength of sin. They that are under 
the law are under the curse." Was Abraham, then, 
under the law, or Moses, or David, or Isaiah, and were 
they under a curse ? Was the law to them the 
strength of sin ? Of course not, as little as to the 

Q 



226 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

apostle Paul and the apostle John, for we believe 
that the saints of God, from beginning to end, are 
saved by grace, through faith in the Redeemer. But 
there is another sense in which we use the word 
" law." When David says that he delights himself 
in the law of the Lord, he means the whole teaching 
and all the institutions of God, — God as the Redeemer, 
the propitiatory sacrifice, — all the teaching of God 
that He has given to us. And, more than that, the 
apostle Paul says, " We have a righteousness apart 
from the law," and this righteousness, apart from the 
law, is witnessed not merely by the prophets, but by 
the law, and the prophets. Therefore, that very law 
declares not merely that if a man transgresses the 
law he is under a curse, but also that there 
is a divine righteousness, apart from any works, 
given to every one that believeth. It is in this 
sense that John says, " The law was given by Moses, 
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." There 
are thus, you see, two things corresponding to law. 
The law consists of two things. As a covenant 
of works, it is condemnation. Grace came by Jesus 
Christ. As a type of the Gospel it contains promises, 
figures, types, and shadows. By Jesus Christ came 
the substance or the fulfilment. Therefore, in this 
respect, although there is a contrast between the two, 
and although the one is only the germ and the other 
is the fruit, the one the promise and the other the 
fulfilment, yet the two go together. But the dis- 
tinguishing feature, and that which will remain 
as long as the world stands, is this : Moses and the 
prophets have written the books of Israel, and 
the evangelists and apostles have written the books 
of the Church ; in the one Jehovah, in the other 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 227 

Jesus ; in the one Israel and the nations, in the other 
an election from among all nations — not a nation but 
the body of Christ ; the one pertaining to the earthly, 
the other pertaining to heaven. When you take 
this view you will' see that Moses and the prophets 
are not merely a ladder by which we get up to a 
higher platform, and then can do without the ladder ; 
but that, after they have served the purpose of 
explaining to you the New Testament of Jesus 
Christ, they have a substantive importance and 
position in themselves, which will always continue. 
What I aim at in these lectures is to show to you 
that the Bible is not an aggregate of literary pro- 
ductions, but that it is the testimony and voice of 
the living One who is to come again — a book of 
history which is not yet completed. And when we 
call the one the book of Israel, you see the Jews 
scattered among all the nations of the earth — the 
problem of their future not yet solved. And when 
we call the other the book of the Church, I trust 
that you feel that you are members of that vast 
community which says, " Come, Lord Jesus ; come 
quickly." 

Now I must pass on to the next point. I have 
used many comparisons to show the relation of the 
one book to the other, but I will now add a tenth, 
to the nine that I have already mentioned, and it is 
this. A stereoscope contains two different aspects 
of the same object, but it is of no use looking at the 
stereoscopic picture with one eye. You must look at 
it with both eyes, and then the figure will stand out 
as a solid plastic reality. And that is exactly the 
way in which Jesus Christ stands out. When we 
see the view taken of Him by Moses and the 



22S THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

prophets — as the coming Jehovah — and when we 
see the view taken of Him by the apostles — as the 
returning Jesus — then we see the historic reaHty, for 
we must always study the ancient Scriptures in the 
light of the new. And as this is a very important 
point in the present day I am going to ask your 
attention to the reasons which I have for this ; for 
all our learned friends tell us that we must read 
Moses and the prophets, as we read any other book 
of antiquity, and quite apart from the impressions 
made upon us by the words of Jesus and of the 
apostles. Now, in the first place, what I say to this 
is, that it is very irrational and unphilosophical from 
our point of view. A few years ago I was reading 
the works of Schopenhauer, the great German 
Buddhist philosopher. His system of the universe 
of knowledge and will, he has embodied in two very 
large volumes, and in the preface he says, " There 
is only one idea in these two volumes." He tried 
to express it as lucidly and as briefly as possible, 
— and this was the result. I would ask your 
special attention to what he says. I have translated 
it from the German, so you must excuse the style. 
'' A system of thoughts must have an architectonic 
structure, in which one part supports the other, but is 
not supported by it. The foundation supports the 
whole, but is itself not supported. The top stone is 
supported, but it supports nothing." That is one 
style of book. We are first to lay down a few 
axioms or admitted positions, that have to bear the 
structure of the whole. Then you go on : " What 
you put upon it is supported by the foundation, but 
does not support the foundation. But there is 
another kind of book which is this. A work con- 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 229 

sisting of one idea, however comprehensive, must 
possess perfect unity. It may consist of parts, but 
they must be organically connected, so that each 
part supports the whole and is supported by the 
whole. No part is, so to say, first, and no part is 
last. The whole is illustrated by every minute part, 
and even the smallest part cannot be rightly under- 
stood unless the whole has been comprehended." 
What he means is this : " If a work consists of one 
idea, although that one idea is very comprehensive and 
has many ramifications, then the only way in which 
it can be set forth is as an organism. The whole 
idea will be in every part. The beginning cannot 
be properly understood unless you know also the 
end. The smaller and less important parts cannot be 
properly understood unless ^you know the whole. 
They throw light upon the whole, as the whole 
throws light upon them. In this case nothing can 
be done " (now listen to this) " but to read the book 
twice, and the first time with much patience, which 
can only be obtained by a freely granted confidence 
that the beginning presupposes the end, as much as 
the end presupposes the beginning, and the earlier 
part the later. Although each part may be as 
clearly expressed as is possible, yet its relation to 
the whole cannot be seen at first. When you read 
it the second time, all will appear in clear light." 
When I read this preface some years ago, I said, 
" That man has exactly explained the philosophy of 
the Bible." The Holy Ghost inspired the book. God 
is the Author of the book. You must read it the first 
time with a full conviction that you can understand 
it only partially, for it is organically united. He, by 
whom the first three chapters of Genesis were inspired 



230 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

saw in His mind, the three last chapters of the book 
of Revelation. " God who at sundry times and 
in divers manners spake unto the fathers by the 
prophets hath, in these last days, spoken unto us by 
his Son." And therefore when we have read the 
whole, and when we have got the solution and the 
key in the New Testament, then we must return 
again to the book of Genesis and read Moses and 
the prophets, in the light that God has given us 
throughout. The same Author ; every minute part 
illustrated by the whole ; the whole shedding light 
upon every minute part. Were, then, the apostles 
right in their method ? Let us go back to the 
Lord. He opened their understanding that they 
might understand the Scriptures. He explained 
unto them His own person and His own history 
beginning at Moses — that through sufferings He 
must enter into glory. These dear apostles, even 
while they were seeing Jesus and beholding the 
things of Scripture fulfilled, did not understand 
the Scripture. Why did they not understand 
the Scripture ? They knew Hebrew, as well as 
any Hebrew scholar of the present day. What 
made them not understand the Scripture ? Because 
the Holy Ghost was not given, and Christ had not 
yet risen. 

I will give you a second reason, and that second 
reason quite as strong and as cogent as the first. I 
must say again that the Bible is not a literary 
production. The Bible is part of God's dealings 
with Israel and with the Church. Therefore every 
portion of Scripture, as it first appeared, had already 
an audience prepared for it, a circle of readers who 
were under the divine training, and the circumstances. 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 231 

in which they hved, gave them the key to under- 
stand the books, which were sent to them. Now, 
the readers of the five books of Moses were still in 
circumstances, which made it suitable that they 
should have nothing else but the five books of 
Moses. The readers, on the other hand, of the 
Gospel knew already that Jesus was the Son of God, 
and the Saviour. It was to those who, through the 
apostles, had obtained the knowledge of Christ that 
the Gospel record was sent. Before Christ came, of 
course, the Jews could do nothing else but read 
Moses and the prophets. They had no more. But 
now remember that Christ has come ; Jerusalem is 
destroyed ; the temple has vanished. There is no 
more, the high-priest going into the Holy of Holies on 
the day of atonement. Paschal lambs are no longer 
offered. The whole Levitical dispensation has dis- 
appeared. Israel is no longer in their own land. 
The circumstances in which the Jews now read the 
Old Testament prevent their understanding the Old 
Testament, without their acceptance of the New. It 
is impossible that they should understand the Old 
Testament. Why ? Because of its not being a mere 
literary production, but the address of the living God 
to His people, in accordance with the circumstances 
and stage of history in which they are ; and that 
stage of history, when the old scriptures were given, 
having passed away, it is impossible that they should 
understand Moses and the prophets, — and the fact 
has corroborated this. They do not understand 
them. I have shown you before, that the very idea 
of God has been changed in the Jewish synagogue ; 
that, instead of His being a living, condescending, 
self-communicating, friendly, redeeming God, He is 



232 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

regarded as an abstract conception of unity. The 
whole idea of the law has been changed. As the 
apostle says, the law is spiritual, but with the Jews 
the law has become a conglomeration of ceremonies, 
a number of precepts and injunctions. The feeling 
of the necessity of propitiation, of atonement, has 
vanished altogether, because, for eighteen centuries, 
nothing has reminded them of sacrifice ; and, to 
accommodate themselves to their circumstances, they 
have changed the idea of sacrifice, into the mere offer- 
ing of thankfulness. The expectation of the Messiah 
also has disappeared, for, seeing that He came at the 
time when, according to the prophets, He must have 
come, — and seeing that the Christians have always 
applied and urged these predictions, they have been 
obliged to invent other interpretations, in which the 
idea of the personal Messiah altogether departs 
into the background. A burnt child dreads the 
fire, and if the whole Jewish nation, with all their 
Hebrew learning, and with all the instinctive 
understanding which, after all, is still in their 
blood, have, for eighteen centuries, misinterpreted 
the Old Testament because they will not consider 
it, in the light of the New Testament, I have 
no hope of the Gentiles understanding the Old 
Testament, without the New Testament ; for if 
we do not go to the Old Testament with the 
light, and the ideas of the historical facts, furnished 
to us in the New, let no man imagine, for that 
reason, that we go to it as little children, without 
any conceptions, prejudices, oppositions, and theories 
of our own. The practice of the Church of Christ 
from the beginning, based upon the example of 
Christ and the prophets, is binding upon us as 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 233 

Christians, commends itself to us as thinkers, and 
is ratified and corroborated by the experience of 
the Jews. 

The last topic I can only briefly allude to, and 
it is this. The ancient books and the new books, 
the book of Israel and the book of the Church, 
have exactly the same structure. No twins could 
be more alike, in figure and in feature. It is 
God who is the beginning, who redeems, who 
teaches, who guides, who commands ; first come 
the manifestations of God in creation, in the 
promise of redemption, in the election of Abra- 
ham, in the bringing of Israel out of Egypt, in the 
planting of the tabernacle, and of the whole Levitical 
dispensation — the mighty acts, words, institutions, 
gifts, and promises vouchsafed by God through Moses. 
That is the foundation. After that there comes 
the history, — how these promises were carried out 
into actual reality and appropriated by the nation, — 
with all their backslidings. This is in the so-called 
historical books, or, as the Jews rail them, the earlier 
prophets. Then there is in the book of Psalms the 
response of the believer to what God has said, — 
then, the promise of the fulfilment and consumma- 
tion of all God's purposes in the prophets. The 
order is the same in the New Testament. F'irst 
comes, not what men think about God, but the 
incarnation, the history of Christ on earth. His 
death, resurrection, and ascension, the four gospels, 
just like the five books of Moses. Then there 
comes the history of how this was appropriated and 
actually carried out, the book of Acts, the planting 
of the Church in Israel, the planting of the Church 
among the Gentiles, and the response of believers to 



234 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

what is revealed, given in the various epistles, so that 
the epistles, to a certain extent, take the position 
of the Psalms — as the response of faith unto the 
great things of God. And then at last there comes 
the Apocalypse, showing how all the promises will 
be fulfilled. This is the first point. 

The second point is this. In both Testaments, the 
beginning contains in germ everything that follows. 
Here we come to Schopenhauer's idea. All that is in 
the later historical books and in the prophets, is in the 
five books of Moses ; and all that is in the Acts and 
in the epistles and in the Apocalypse, is also in the 
four gospels. And the position of Moses as an indi- 
vidual, as the person, as the man that wrote the 
books, is most important, for he is not like any 
other prophet. It is perfectly indifferent who wrote 
the 2nd book of Samuel or the Chronicles, but it is 
not indifferent who wrote the five books of Moses. 
Moses wrote them ; for this Moses is not merely a 
law-giver ; he is not merely a prophet ; he is every- 
thing in one person. He is the human mediator 
upon whom the whole structure of the Jewish history 
and of the teaching of God in Israel rests. And in 
the books of Moses you find everything. There is 
no prophecy given by the later prophets which is 
not already contained in the books of Moses — as, 
for instance, that Israel shall be called back from 
all the ends of the earth, and by the grace and 
spirit of God become again His people, and that all 
families of the earth shall be blessed in the seed of 
Abraham, and that God shall finally bruise Satan 
under our feet, when the Lord comes. All are in 
the books of Moses. And in the same way the 
gospels contain all the teaching, afterwards more 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 235 

fully developed, and all the predictions which are 
in the subsequent parts, namely, the epistles, etc. 

The third thing is this. Strictly speaking, all those 
elements are in all the books of Scripture ; that is to 
say, there are no books of which we can say, " These 
are simply historical " ; or books of which we can 
say, " These are simply prophetical " ; or books of 
which we can say, " These are simply lyrical " ; but 
all the books, and everything as I have said, united 
together, planted together, wrought in together, with 
the most exquisite harmony — not with the harmony 
which we see in a book of genius, although that is a 
kind of illustration, but with the harmony which we 
see in everything, on which God has breathed the 
breath of life. " Consider the lilies of the field." 
Why? Because God has clothed them, and there- 
fore their beauty is iimch greater than anything, 
which architecture or art of any kind can produce. 
The books of Moses are history ; the books of 
Moses are teaching ; the books of Moses are pro- 
phecy. The Psalms are not merely prayers, but 
prophecy. In the books of the prophets we have 
history. Thus, in the prophet Isaiah, the history of 
Hezekiah ; in the prophet Jeremiah, the history of 
his own days ; in the prophet Daniel the history 
of God's manifestations, at the court of the pagan 
monarchs. And so it is also in the other Book. The 
gospels contain history and teaching and response, 
like the psalms of Mary and of Zacharias and of 
Simeon. And as to prophecy — the epistles are full 
of prophecy, until, at last, all the prophecy of the 
later scripture culminates in the Apocalypse, as the 
former scriptures had done in Daniel, the man greatly 
beloved, in whose book not merely Israel's future 



236 THE BOOKS OF ISRAEL AND OF THE CHURCH 

is predicted, but the future of the whole world ; — 
so all the scattered prophecy in the gospels and 
the epistles, and in the whole preceding scripture, cul- 
minates in that book which, in the latter days, as it 
was in the first ages of the Church, will become the 
beloved book of the Church — the revelation which 
God gave to His Son Jesus Christ. 

And now let me just say one word about our 
Lord's return. Oh, not as a question of exegesis, 
not as a topic of polemic discussion, does it behove 
us to speak of this great, solemn, and most blessed 
hope. " Surely I come quickly." Of all announce- 
ments of Scripture it is the one that most stirs 
up the depths of our conscience and of our 
heart. Sometimes, when we feel overwhelmed with 
a sense of our sin, unworthiness, and unfaithfulness, 
the question arises, " And am I one of the wise 
virgins who have oil in their lamps, and shall I be 
numbered among those that arc ready to go in when 
the Bridegroom comes ? " And at other times when, 
by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy 
Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the 
sons of God, the solemnity is even more overwhelm- 
ing in its sweetness and blessedness. And is it pos- 
sible that He, whom having not seen we love, shall 
be at last seen by us face to face — that we shall 
see Him as He is — not as at present, by laboriously 
combining all the different aspects of His wonderful 
person and work, but by a glance, by an immediate 
vision, by the complete and comprehensive under- 
standing of our enlarged and glorified faculties, be- 
hold Him as He is, and be like Him ? Meanwhile, 
to us who have this hope, and who by this hope are 
entirely separated from the present age — not merely 



SHOWN TO BE ORGANICALLY CONNECTED 237 

in its wickedness, but also in its pretended goodness ; 
not merely in its frivolity, but also in its wisdom and 
in its culture — unto us poor, isolated, unknown, and 
enigmatic people there is the Word of God, the holy 
and beloved Scriptures of the prophets and of, the 
apostles ; and ye do well to take heed to them as 
unto a light shining in a dark place, until you see 
the bright morning star ; and when that morning 
star comes, soon shall the Sun of Righteousness rise 
with healing in His wings, to bring us gladness, 
strength, and power to glorify God, and to reign 
with the Lord Jesus on the earth. Amen. 



XII 



OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— AND THE BIBLE A 
BOOK OF FACTS 

All the things we believe and hope for based on actual facts — The 
name Jehovah itself speaks not only of the being of God but of 
His having become the God of History, and also the God that is 
coming — The Bible connected with all branches of knowledge — 
The true idiom of history acquired from the Bible — Ranke on the 
loth chapter of Genesis — The programme of history given in the 
Bible — Daniel's interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream — The 
reality of the history of the Old Testament — It professes to be 
actual history — Difficulty regarding it to those who do not believe 
in God, as the living God — Nothing about Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob of a mythical type — It is human history with its light and 
darkness, — intensely human and natural — It is simple and plain, 
without embellishment, eloquent only in the unadorned eloquence 
of facts — It is condemnatory of the nation among whom it 
appeared — There is no hero-worship — It hides nothing of the 
sins of those most commended — The testimony and truth of the 
genealogies — Recent confirmations — Evidence of veracity of Bible 
history accumulating every day. 

There are two points which I wish to bring before 
you this morning — that the Scripture history supplies 
us with the facts and principles, upon which all true 
philosophical and universal history is based. And 
the second point is this — that the history, recorded 
in the books of Moses, and of the other writers, of the 
ancient dispensation, contains actual and real history. 
In my last lecture I endeavoured to show why 
it is that we cannot understand Moses and the 



OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS 



239 



prophets, without the apostolic Hght of the gospels 
and the epistles, — and to this I wish only to add 
one remark. Nothing can be said in stronger terms, 
concerning the evangelical history of the ancient 
Scriptures, than the simple remark which the apostle 
Paul made to Timothy, that the Scriptures " are able 
to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which 
is in Christ Jesus." And although there are many 
things, both in the ancient history and in the ancient 
prophecy, which will be fully explained and mani- 
fested, only at the second coming of our blessed 
Saviour, still, as we are told both by the apostle 
Paul and by the apostle Peter, the whole Old Testa- 
ment was written, in order that it may be understood 
by the Church of Jesus Christ, who live in the latter 
days, and unto whom there has been granted the 
privilege of seeing the fulfilment of God's promise ; 
for so the apostle Peter says with regard to prophecy 
— that through suffering the Messiah should enter 
into that glory, — that it was revealed to the prophets 
that not to themselves, but to us, they did testify of 
these things. And of the ancient history, the 
apostle Paul declares in his epistle to the Romans 
that all these things happened for our example, and 
were written for our admonition, upon whom the 
ends of the world have come. Seeing, therefore, 
that we have the fulness of the Gospel light, and 
that there have been manifested to us these histories, 
it is for us to enter into the consideration of Moses 
and the prophets, in the full assurance and expecta- 
tion, that the Holy Ghost has there treasured up for 
us, all that is profitable and needful for our instruction 
and guidance, in connection with that fuller develop- 
ment of history and teaching, which we now possess. 



240 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS — 

A combination of history, teaching, prophecy, 
with the subjective response of the congregation, both 
in works of reflection and in the lyrical outpourings 
of their feelings, is something altogether unique ; and 
it is a combination which corresponds to all the 
different wants and necessities of mankind, as they 
arise in the course of centuries ; and, while it corre- 
sponds with our need, it is the only kind of book of 
revelation, worthy of Him from whom it emanates. 
Ideas without facts make up a philosophy. Facts 
without ideas may make up a history. But that 
which we need is something which appeals not merely 
to our intellect, but also to our conscience and to 
our heart, and that which so appeals must be the 
revelation of God. And, if it is the revelation of 
God, it can only be the revelation of God, coming 
down out of His infinite eternity, into our time and 
into our space. It must record the initiative, creative, 
and redemptive acts of the Most High ; and, in re- 
cording these acts, it must contain a revelation of 
His character, and of His purpose, of His command- 
ments concerning us, and of the promises, by which 
He sustains us. And only in Scripture have we 
such a combination. All Scripture facts are full of 
ideas. So to speak they are full of eyes, and light 
shines to us in them. And all Scripture ideas, the 
things which we believe and the things which we 
hope for, are based upon actual facts — manifestations 
of the Most High. If a Christian is asked, "What 
is your belief? what is your faith?" he does not 
answer by enumerating dogmas, in the sense of 
abstract philosophical truths ; but he answers by 
saying that he believes in God who created, in God 
who became incarnate, and died, and rose again, and 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 241 

in God who sent the Holy Ghost to renew his 
heart. So what is our creed but facts, but such 
facts as are full of light, — and in which God manifests 
Himself to us ? 

Again, the name of God, and that name, which 
we should not know without the Bible, is " Jehovah " ; 
and " Jehovah " has this meaning — first, that He 
is sovereign, self- subsisting, and eternal ; but, 
secondly, that He has become the God of history, 
and is in history ; and, thirdly, that He is the God 
who is coming, who is fulfilling His promises, and 
who will consummate all the counsel which was in 
Him in eternity. And as this simple name, Jehovah, 
contains all Scripture history, all Scripture teach- 
ing, and all Scripture prophecy, so the people who 
accept this name " Jehovah "iive in the past, and 
in the present, and in the future. To live merely 
in the past by memory is a kind of death, in which 
there is no activity, but simply regret. To live 
merely in the present, without remembering the past 
and looking forward to the future, is unworthy of man, 
who was created in the image of God. To think 
merely of the future is simply a work of imagina- 
tion and reverie. But past, present, and future, 
— Jehovah who was, Jehovah who is, and Jehovah 
who is to come — this is what fills up the whole of 
man. He lives by memory ; he lives by present 
communion ; he lives by hope ; and all the saints of 
God from Enoch, the seventh from Adam, until those 
who shall be alive at Christ's coming, remember the 
merciful deeds of God in the past, live in com- 
munion with the present-living God, and look for- 
ward to the glorious consummation of God's purposes. 
So all Scripture must be viewed in the light of 



242 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 

history ; and in this history, — teaching, prophecy, and 
the response of the congregation are comprehended. 

The Bible is a book separate from all other books, 
and high above all other books. That is quite true. 
On the other hand, the Bible is connected with all 
other books in the world ; and, as all things must 
work together for good to them that love God, so 
all books that are written, even those that are written 
against the Bible, contribute to the corroboration 
and to the illustration of the Scriptures. Joseph 
was considered a dreamer and very ambitious, and 
yet, after all, his dream was fulfilled that all the 
sheaves of his brethren did obeisance before his sheaf. 
And thus is it that all books that ever were written, on 
whatever subject, must contribute to show forth that 
Scripture is the book of books. As a French socialist 
who had no faith in Scripture has said, " It is a strange 
thing that we cannot think on any subject but in a 
few minutes we come to theology." 

So far, then, from granting that Scripture does 
not encourage the cultivation of our faculties, and 
the zealous investigation of truth in all its different 
departments, we see that Scripture is the very basis 
upon which all activity of mind is founded, and that 
all books are written in order that this one book 
may be understood ; for there is no book in the 
world which so encourages the use of our reason, and 
the active employment of all the mental faculties 
that God has bestowed upon us. It sets a high value 
on knowledge, and it continually counsels us to get 
wisdom. As a revelation addressing itself to man, 
an intellectual and responsible being, it at once 
quickens all his powers, and wherever the Bible has 
been, human knowledge has made progress. 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 243 

Although the Bible does not interfere in any way, 
with all those different branches of knowledge with 
which man is occupied, it connects itself with them 
all. No book in the world exhibits such a love 
of nature, such a diligent and careful observation 
of nature, as Scripture — such is the testimony of 
Alexander Von Humboldt, — and yet Scripture does 
not come into conflict or collision with any inves- 
tigation or with any intellectual activity, — defining 
exactly the limits which must be assigned to them, 
and reserving for itself that special place which, as 
a revelation from God, belongs to it. 

In my next lecture, when I have to speak on 
the miraculous character of Scripture, I shall en- 
deavour to show that this applies especially to 
science, and that not merely is there no collision 
between Scripture and science, but that without 
the scriptural idea of God and this world, and of 
this world forming one whole or cosmos, there would 
be no legitimate and thorough foundation, upon which 
science could build its superstructure. To-day my 
subject is rather with regard to history. 

The Bible history is peculiar. It is a theological 
history. The selection of evidence, and the way in 
which the evidences are narrated, show that all the 
historical books were written by men of the prophetic 
spirit. It aims at illustrating God's dealings with 
men. It desires to show how the salvation which 
is in Jesus Christ was prepared. It wishes to lay 
down all the threads which are to be taken up, when 
the whole counsel of God shall be fulfilled. 

But although the Scripture pursues its method thus, 
it throws light upon history in general. What is 
history ? There is a very natural tendency of man to 



244 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS — 

write down events which strike him as remarkable. 
It is a natural thing for a family to keep a chronicle 
or a diary of things that happen, and to preserve 
genealogies. The Egyptians could not allow any- 
thing remarkable to pass, without writing down an 
accurate description of it. There is a chronicle 
style of history which we trace in most ancient 
nations — exceedingly tiresome, because there is 
constant repetition, which, in the course of centuries, 
becomes endless — dynasty succeeding dynasty, war 
following upon war, and the different vicissitudes and 
the different developments of various branches, barely 
recorded. The Romans and the Greeks had a higher 
style of history, yet, after all, the Romans and the 
Greeks did not reach the true method of history, for 
in the true method of history, it is necessary that the 
whole human race should be regarded as forming one 
family, — and the ancient nations had not this idea at 
all. They thought that, in the various countries of 
which they had any knowledge, the inhabitants, as 
it were, had sprung out of the earth, and that they 
were not connected with the nations of other 
countries, so that the Greeks looked down upon all 
the rest of the world as barbarians, and the Romans 
looked down upon all the rest of the world, as people 
to be subjugated to their empire. The true idea 
of history as it lives now among us, even among 
people who do not know whence they have obtained 
that idea, is this — that humanity is a unity, and 
that events not merely succeed each other with 
constant iteration, but that there is a purpose in 
them ; in fact, that history leads to some goal and 
to some end. And also we have got this idea, that 
it would be altogether impossible and unprofitable 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 245 

simply to chronicle all the events which happen 
to all the different nations and tribes of the 
earth, and that our great object is to select those 1 
nations, and to select those events, which stand, in 
direct and vital connection, with the whole stream of 
history, and which contribute something to the de- 
velopment of the whole race. During the last years 
there has appeared a history which has astonished 
and delighted the civilised world. The veteran his- 
torian, Ranke, has attempted to write a world-history 
— a history of history, selecting only those nations, 
and, in those nations, only those events and movements, 
which have contributed to the general history ; but 
whence did Ranke and all other modern historians 
get that idea, but from the Bible ? Mark this : from 
the Bible : nowhere else. I had occasion to quote to 
you the words of a great man of science — that the ' 
beginning and the end of things are both absolutely 
hidden to science. Science has to do with pheno- 
mena, but the beginning of things and the end of things 
are both absolutely untouchable by science. The same 
may be said of history ; and yet, unless we know 
the beginning of our race, the unity of our race, and 
that all the different nations of the world are related 
to one another, how is it possible for us to conceive ' 
the idea of a world-history ? Again, unless we have 
the idea of providence, — of God, who sees the end 
from the beginning, who guides and overrules things 
for His own glory, and for the good of humanity — 
it is a hopeless thing to read history. It leads to 
nothing. It is like a vessel that is drifting, tossed 
to and fro by the waves of the sea, without having 
some one to guide it, and bring it to its appointed 
CToal. 



246 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 

But, thirdly, what is that end, and what is that 
goal ? What a curious thing it is that before 
geography had made any great progress, the Bible 
anticipated that the whole earth would be inhabited, 
that the uttermost ends of the earth would be 
peopled, and that the whole earth would be united 
in the knowledge and worship of one God, and in 
righteousness, and in prosperity. You remember 
that Moses said, that when the Most High divided 
to the sons of Adam their inheritance. He did it 
according to the number of the children of Israel. 
And this is the very thing that the apostle Paul 
preached to the Athenians — the philosophy of 
history. He says, " God has made of one blood 
all the nations of the earth " — not, as you imagine, 
that you Athenians are of a different blood from the 
barbarians. Not merely has He done this, but He 
fixed the bounds of their habitations, as well as 
regulated the different periods and epochs of their 
history. Here you have a chronology, and here 
you have a geography, and here you have a teleology 
which is of that purpose or aim, that alone gives eyes 
to history. Without it, history would be like a body 
without eyes. Is it not a wonderful thing ? 

And as for the beginning of the human race, no 
inquiring mind, no lover of humanity, no enthusiastic 
pursuer of history, can rest satisfied without asking 
himself the question : What was the beginning of the 
human race ? All things in both physiology and 
ethnology, as well as in all the sciences which bear 
upon the subject, confirm the idea of the unity of the 
human race, and also that all human language was 
originally one. Max Miiller has often asserted that 
the more languages are examined, notwithstanding 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 247 

all their diversity, the more it is seen that they 
consist of a very few elementary roots, and that they 
must all have originated in one common source ; 
and as another philologer says, it is just as when 
an earthquake has come, and has broken up what 
formerly was one continuous mass : you see the 
parts are diverse, but you see that they formerly 
were a unity. 

The loth chapter of the book of Genesis is a 
very remarkable chapter. Before God leaves, as it 
were, the nations to themselves, and begins to deal 
with Israel, His chosen people from Abraham down- 
wards. He takes a loving farewell of all the nations 
of the earth, as much as to say, " I am going to 
leave you for a while, but I love you : I have created 
you : I have ordered all your future " ; and their 
different genealogies are traced. Ranke says of this 
chapter, " It is impossible to read this chapter with- 
out seeing, that there is something here different from 
all other history, and that the national pride and 
separation, which we see everywhere else, has here 
been entirely subjugated by the religious idea, that 
all the different tribes of the earth are related to one 
another, by their common descent from Shem, Ham 
and Japheth." 

More than that. The end of history is given to 
us in Scripture, — and here it is. Whereas, as I have 
said before, the common view of history that is taken 
in the world, and taken also by many Christians, is 
the real reason why the Bible is not believed, and 
why many who profess to believe the Bible, if they 
knew what was in the Bible, would also reject it. 
But the history of the world is given to us in 
Scripture, without entering into the history of the 



248 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 

different nations. That was not necessary. For that 
we do not require a revelation — as to write a history 
of the Greeks, and of the French, and of the Russians. 
That we can do ourselves. But to show us what 
is the programme, what is the divine idea, what is the 
real way and purpose of this history — for that we do 
require the teaching of the Most High. 

Now, this is the history. From the fall of Adam 
there goes down a line in which judgment succeeds 
judgment. There is also a line in which deliverance 
and grace succeed deliverance and grace. The fall of 
Adam, the banishment from Paradise, the wickedness 
of the world in the days of Noah ; the Flood ; the 
judgment on the Tower of Babel ; the judgment upon 
Israel at the destruction of Jerusalem ; the judgment 
upon an apostate Christendom and the anti-Christ, 
when our Lord comes. This is the downward line. 
But there is an upward line of grace. There are the 
Sethites, who called upon the name of Jehovah. In 
the Flood, Noah and his household are saved to form 
the beginning of a new period. After the destruction 
of Babel, Abraham is selected to form again the 
beginning of a new period. After the destruction of 
Jerusalem, we have already a church both of Jews and 
Gentiles to form the beginning of history till after the 
coming of Christ, to destroy the anti-Christ with his 
might and power, and to judge the anti-Christian 
nations. There is the godly remnant of Israel, there 
are the nations of the earth, and there is the Church 
of Christ, which is transformed and with Christ. 

The Babylonish captivity is an event of great 
importance in God's plan of history. Babel at first 
was the human race combining their own resources 
of strength and wisdom and culture, for the Cajnites 



AAW THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 249 

were the beginning of culture, music, and art. It is 
the combination of humanity, relying upon their own 
power, wisdom, and culture, to form an independent 
and united organism, without God ; and from that 
day, Babel became a type of the world-power as 
opposing God, until at last we read in the book of 
Revelation, " Babylon is fallen, is fallen." 

Now, when Babel was judged, Abraham rose. 
Again, when Israel was judged Babylon rose. From 
the time that Israel was led into captivity, until Christ 
comes again and restores Israel to His own land, is 
one period. It is " the times of the Gentiles," during 
which there is no outward and visible theocracy or 
Christocracy. This was revealed in a dream to 
Nebuchadnezzar, which was interpreted by the Most 
High to Daniel, the " man greatly beloved." And 
here we have an outline of the whole history of the 
world — gold, silver, brass, iron, clay. Outside this 
seen world, there comes a crisis, and this passes away 
and there comes a new crisis. This shows us the 
outward character of the world-kingdom, which, con- 
trary to our usual idea, is not a progressive but a 
deteriorating one, for the metals deteriorate as we go 
on, by which we are taught — that a nation which 
is extremely civilised and advanced may, in God's 
estimation, be much inferior to a nation, which is 
only at the beginning of this process. Civilisation 
is a very good thing. That we have railways, and 
telegraphs, and intercourse between nation and nation, 
is of great importance. But though many live by 
those things, rely upon those things, boast of those 
things, and think that these are the kingdom of 
God, it is perfectly evident that such is not God's 
estimate. Such is not even the verdict of history, for 



250 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 

the most civilised nations, as Greece and Rome, 
perished by their very civilisation. The things in 
which the life of a nation consists are righteousness 
and justice, reverence and obedience to the sanctity 
of the family life, — and not culture. Let the whole 
race of Adam reach the highest point of civilisation 
and unity, and it may be, as the Colossus, ready for 
destruction. 

But the 7th chapter of Daniel shows us the in- 
ward character of the world-kingdoms, namely, Baby- 
lonian, Persian, Grseco-Macedonian, and lastly Roman, 
under which we still live. They have to be com- 
pared to beasts ; that is to say, they have not the 
character of humanity. They are strong ; they are 
cunning ; they are wise ; but they have not the mind 
and heart of man, until the Son of Man comes down 
from heaven, and unto Him is given the dominion. 
That is the Scripture sketch of history. 

Now here I have left out the consideration of the 
Christian Church ; and in Daniel its origin only 
is left out. Do not misunderstand me. The Old 
Testament prophecy sees the first coming of Christ 
clearly, but it sees it as a point and not as a line. 
It sees the second coming of Christ not merely as a 
point but also as a line. But the Church of Christ 
is exactly in the same position, as regards the world, 
as that in which Israel was, as regards the nations. 
As the apostle says, " He has redeemed you out of 
the world," and as Christ says, "Ye are not of the world, 
and my kingdom is not of the world " ; it will come 
into the world, but it is not of the world. 

And now let me go on to the next point. This 
latter point will come up again for our consideration 
when I view the Jewish history in its prophetic light. 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 251 

I wish now to speak of the actual reahty of the 
Jewish history. This is a very important point. I 
wish to say, in the first place, that the Bible professes 
to be history. There is no distinction made in the 
Bible between certain parts of this history and other 
parts — some which are more credible than the others, 
some which are more historical — none whatever. The 
prophets, our blessed Lord, and the apostles, treat all 
the parts of Bible history on a perfect level. The 
serpent that tempted Eve is a historical fact. The 
Flood and all the things that are narrated in the 
earlier portion of the Bible, just as much as in the 
later, are historical facts. There is no distinction 
made. 

Now, I wish to treat this subject with all fairness. 
I say it is exceedingly difficuk for a man to accept 
the history of the Bible, not because there is not abun- 
dant evidence of its truth coming out every day, of 
its [historical and geographical accuracy — there the 
difficulty does not lie. The difficulty lies in this, 
that the things which are spiritual — and, above all, 
God Himself — can only be the object of faith ; and 
this whole Bible history is a history in which God is 
the great agent, and Israel only responding to His 
agency, and afterwards the Church only responding 
to His agency. 

Now, people have said — and it is quite natural — 
" The Jews are not the only nation of antiquity. 
There are a great many other nations." We notice 
in the history of all other nations, that the early 
portion of their history is full of wonderful things — 
what we must call " myths." A myth is not a lie, 
but it is not a historical reality. There is gener- 
ally some basis of fact in every myth, some hero. 



252 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 

some great wonderful event, which actually existed. 
But a myth is not historically true. It is the action 
of imagination and of reflection, which, as it were, 
spin out a narrative in order to illustrate some truth, 
or to represent some idea. Now, we find Grecian 
history and Roman history in their early stages, 
to be mythology ; but when the Greeks advanced in 
knowledge and in their whole intellectual activity, 
they rejected their early mythology ; and so we 
find that Plato and other thinkers, both among the 
Greeks and among the Romans, criticised their early 
history with great severity and irony. And for 
this there was a twofold reason. In the first place, 
the myths themselves were so grotesque and so 
evidently fabulous that it was impossible to believe 
them, except in an age of childhood, when people do 
not seek for truth, but rather for amusement, — as 
children like to hear something that is imaginative, 
knowing themselves that it is not true, and yet not 
analysing whether it is reality or not. It pleases them, 
and it also, perhaps, instructs them in some degree. 
That was one reason of the criticism. But the other 
reason was this. These mythologies are full of im- 
morality. The gods and heroes of which these myth- 
ologies speak are by no means illustrative of a high 
ideal of human character ; and as the conscience was 
aroused in these men, and they knew what were truth 
and honesty and magnanimity and the different 
virtues which men ought to have, they said, "It is 
pernicious to exalt such gods and heroes, because 
the influence of them is immoral." So in pro- 
portion as light advanced, and in proportion as the 
conscience was roused by reflection, ancient history 
was discarded. That is perfectly true. 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 253 

But now I come to the Scripture history, and 
upon this very fact I base an argument. The argu- 
ment, in short, is this, — that, because there is a good 
deal of base coin circulating, that is no proof that 
there is not genuine coin, the superscription of which 
is that of God the Lord Himself. As the idols of 
the nations were either nothings, or simply heroes or 
demons, so the mythology concerning them does not 
belong to the realm of fact but of fiction. But as 
the God of Israel, which is our postulate, is the true 
God, the living God who created the heavens and 
the earth, the history which tells of Him does not 
belong to the realm of fiction, but belongs to the 
realm of truth. 

And, secondly, the Greeks and Romans, as they 
advanced, discarded their early history, but the 
people of Israel as they advanced, and (to speak 
with reverence and humanly) as Israel reached its 
culmination in Jesus Christ and in the apostles, their 
regard for their ancient history did not decrease, but 
rather advanced, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob is the God of Jesus Christ ; and thus the 
apostle Peter preaches, " The God of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob hath glorified His child Jesus." 
And Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are no mythical 
characters. There is nothing about them that is 
fictitious. They are not described as being different 
from other men. Theirs is a most intensely human 
history ; and so the word " patriarch " has remained 
up to this day to describe what is genuine, unsophis- 
ticated, real humanity. No miracles were performed 
by these men. There is nothing in the record, show- 
ing that there was' an intention of putting a halo 
around them, or of resjardincf them as demigods. 



254 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 



But the second argument is this. The tone of 
the historical books of Scripture is sober, severe, 
unadorned, negligent — as regards the form. The 
myths of the ancients, because they were not fact, 
required all the embellishment which poetry and 
rhetoric could give them in order to make them 
attractive. But the history of creation and 
paradise, of the patriarchs and Moses, of the 
children of Israel in the wilderness, of David, 
of Christ, and of the apostles, requires no orna- 
mentation. It is quite true that there is nothing so 
grand, because there is nothing so pathetic, — there is 
nothing so beautiful, as these beautiful histories. But 
the authors of these books did not want to make 
them beautiful. It is not the result of art. You 
know how, in poems and in books of fiction, there is 
great art in the grouping of things, in making the 
complication of the knot as exciting and interesting 
as possible, and in leading up everything to a grand 
dramatic solution at the end. We have nothing of 
that in Scripture. Sometimes, when the history is, 
so to speak, most exciting, there comes a long 
interruption, a chapter of names and genealogies, 
and a statement of stations and places, as if the man 
who wrote it was just noting down the facts, and . 
entirely careless of producing any effect of art. This 
is the divine negligence of style which is grander 
than all human art. 

Aeain. In all other histories we find an element 
which has to be largely discounted. Niebuhr says 
that the Old Testament history is the only exception 
to ancient history, in that it is free from what he 
calls all " national patriotic falsehood." What that 
means is evident. The other nations always wished 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 255 

to magnify themselves. They are never defeated in 
battle, or if they are defeated in battle it is owing to 
some extraordinary perfidy and some very extraordi- 
nary combination of circumstances, and they always 
aim at glorifying themselves. You see this tendency 
continually breaking out, even unintentionally. But 
Israel's history is a history that shows what a wicked, 
ungrateful, bad nation they were, and how God 
punished them by making other nations come and 
subdue them ; and so the defeat of Israel is not 
merely narrated faithfully, but a most humiliating 
reason is given for that defeat — " Because Israel 
forgot the Lord and walked not in the way of His 
commandments." That is another very remarkable 
element in sacred history. What other nation has 
so recorded its iniquity, and the constant chastise- 
ment which it drew down from heaven ? 

There is another evidence of its veracity, and it is 
this. In other histories we see the great tendency 
to hero-worship. The historian has some favourite 
character. He wants to show 'vhat a grand man 
that was. The Bible never wants to show what a 
grand man anybody was. There is no hero-worship 
in the Bible. I have already referred to that which is 
made an objection against the Bible — that Abraham 
and Jacob and Moses and David are so full of 
faults and sins, and Peter denied Christ thrice, etc. 
There is no hero-worship in the Bible. Israel and 
the Church have great men ; but what was their great- 
ness ? Read the 1 1 th chapter of the epistle to the 
Hebrews. Faith was their greatness ; or, in other 
words, their greatness was, that they were nothing, 
but that they trusted in God. Now, that is another 
argument for the actual history. 



256 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS — 

I come to a third argument — very important. I 
have already alluded to the genealogies. Of course 
when people read these genealogies, or, rather, do 
not read them, they think, " Why is so much of the 
Bible taken up with a dry list of names ? " Well, it 
is dry to us, but it is not dry in itself. These 
genealogies are of the greatest importance in 
proving the historic character of these books. The 
book of Genesis is made up, as it were, of ten 
genealogies into which the history is framed. The 
book of Exodus begins by a very cool and prosaic 
enumeration of the families descended from Jacob. 
The book of Chronicles, at its beginning, chapter 
after chapter, contains nothing but a list of names. 
What an extraordinary thing this is. Now, notice, 
if a man writes a fiction which he wants to have 
the appearance of truth, like Robinson Crusoe, he 
will make use of this in an artistic way, to a certain 
extent, to give an air of verisimilitude, as in Homer 
we find a catalogue of the ships. But look at 
these statements in the Bible, Look at the book 
of Numbers — a description, with the names of all 
the stations where they halted and the distances. Is 
this fiction ? Look where these interruptions and 
these genealogies are placed, and you will see that 
it is not done by an artist, but by one who states 
that which is true. And what wonderful disclosures 
in the names ! I will mention only one instance, 
the names of Moses' parents — Amram and Jochebed. 
The parents of Moses, living in Egypt, lived by faith 
in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and they 
knew the things and the truths recorded in Genesis, 
although the book was not in existence. The facts 
were in existence. Amram means " the nation that is 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 257 

exalted." Jochebed means " to Jehovah belongs the 
glory." Are not all the five books of Moses in these 
two names ? Whence came these names ? These 
genealogies and statistical statements which we find 
throughout the Bible, down to the New Testament, 
where Matthew begins with a genealogy, are a very 
strong proof of the historic character of the Scrip- 
ture. 

I wish to mention another point that is very 
striking. The Bible history is quite different from 
all other history. I not merely admit this, but the 
point of my address is to prove that it is different 
from all other histories. Yet it always keeps sight 
of the other nations. We never, as it were, leave 
the coast. We are always reminded that we are on 
terra firma. The monuments and inscriptions, that 
have been discovered within the last thirty years, 
have brought to light the accuracy of the allusions 
in Scripture to surrounding nations and to the earlier 
world. Professor Dawson has written a very inter- 
esting book on the Lands of the Bible, in which he 
throws much light upon the position of Paradise. 
This has been a subject of research among the 
Assyriologists. I quote a sentence from one, who is 
a great German authority on Assyriology. He says, 
" The 1 4th chapter of Genesis, in which there is 
recorded the war of the four kings with the five 
kings, has been proved by lately discovered cunei- 
form inscriptions to be the grandest relic of ancient 
Scripture history." That is a wonderful fact. Take, 
again, the history of Egypt. It was once objected 
that, because it was mentioned that the king of 
Egypt made a present to Abraham, in which were 
included asses, camels, and sheep, the narrative could 

s 



258 OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 

not be true, because, at a later period of Egyptian 
history, it was found that Egyptians kept no sheep, 
and had no camels, and had a great abhorrence of 
asses. But the latest discoveries have shown, that in 
the more ancient period there were rich men in 
Egypt, who possessed thousands of sheep ; while bones 
of dromedaries have been found ; so that this state- 
ment has proved to be a confirmation instead of 
an objection. And — to mention the name of a 
writer whose works of fiction may be known to 
many of you, and who is a great authority on 
Egypt — Ebers declares that the whole narrative of 
Joseph, and the picture it gives of the history 
and the customs and the spirit of Egypt at that 
time, is most faithful and accurate. Then we have 
the Egypt of the time of Moses. Then we have 
the other nations of which we read in the earlier 
Scriptures — the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the 
Persians, — all the surrounding nations, — always 
kept in view. The whole ancient history is referred 
to, although the Scripture only touches upon it, 
because in the Scripture view the great and mighty 
conquerors were of no vast importance ; and all 
those great kingdoms, under which men at that 
time trembled, the Scripture knew to be ephemeral. 
It says in the 40th chapter of Isaiah that they 
will not take root, and that they will not be found 
in future on the earth, while Israel should abide. 
Thus the incidental light, the Old Testament throws 
upon the surrounding history, is confirmed and makes 
us perceive that real history is related. 

In the New Testament, in the gospel of Luke 
and the Acts, because Luke's was eminently an 
historical mind, we find the birth of Jesus in 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 259 

Bethlehem, the miracle of miracles ; He was con- 
ceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin 
Mary ; but it happened on this earth of ours ; in 
Judaea, and in Judi^ea at a certain time ; when 
Caisar Augustus was the emperor of Rome, there 
went forth the edict — that all the world should 
be taxed ; and again in the book of Acts there 
is constant reference to the Roman history of the 
time. 

I sum up by saying that the evidence for the 
accurate veracity of the history of the Bible is 
accumulating day by day, and comes to us from all 
sources, and, if I may so speak, from independent 
and impartial and, oftentimes, hostile sources. I 
believe that it is all actual history. I believe that 
the evidence of its veracity is very great, and yet 
at the same time I must confess that it is difficult 
— that it is impossible — to realise it, unless there 
is given to us grace. The Scripture history does 
not demand credit merely. The Scripture history 
demands faith. We can prove ^o a person that it 
is impossible to account for the apostolic Church, if 
Jesus did not rise from the dead. Here is an effect, 
and there is no cause to produce it ; and then all 
these men said publicly in Jerusalem that Jesus was 
risen from the dead. Wc can also prove to him 
from the different statements of the Gospel narra- 
tives that this is a fact and not an imagination,— 
the disciples themselves not expecting it, and, after 
it had happened, scarcely able to believe it ; and 
yet he will not be convinced that Jesus Christ is 
risen from the dead. A man may say, " I cannot 
disbelieve it," but not disbelieving a thing is dif- 
ferent from believing it. He says, " I cannot con- 



26o OUR FAITH BASED ON FACTS— 

tradict it." He says, " I cannot account for it in 
any other way," but still he does not realise it. I 
find that when the apostles preached to unbelievers 
that Jesus Christ was risen from the dead, they did 
not produce a mass of evidence and say, " We will 
prove it to you. It was only a few weeks ago that 
you saw Him crucified. You know what was done 
to the sepulchre, and that there was the stone and 
the seal and the Roman guard ; and He has ap- 
peared to Peter, and He has appeared to Thomas, 
and He has appeared to these women, and He 
has appeared to five hundred. We can prove it 
to you." Afterwards, when Paul wrote to believers, 
to the Christian Church at Corinth, when heresy 
had sprung up regarding the resurrection, he says, 
" I preached unto you that Christ was risen ac- 
cording to the Scriptures, and that He appeared 
on such and such different occasions." But the 
apostles preached the resurrection of Christ as a 
divine fact, as in accordance with the prophecies, as 
a link in a great chain which God made, and there- 
fore the acquiescence on the part of the audience 
was not credence, but faith. Ah, — wonder of all 
wonders — that on this earth of ours He by whom 
this earth was called into existence lived thirty-three 
years, that the sun which was created by Him shone 
upon Him, that He ate our bread and drank water 
out of the springs of our habitation, that He lived 
among men, and that with Plim also there was 
yesterday, and to-day, and to-morrow, that He wept 
human tears, and that He died upon the cross, 
and that His blessed feet shall stand again upon 
the Mount of Olives, and that on this earth there 
shall be again a miraculous divine history. It 



AND THE BIBLE A BOOK OF FACTS 261 

needs faith — faith. It is a mystery of godh'ness, 
and blessed are we if we believe. 

Bible history to us is not a matter of indifference, 
nor merely does it satisfy our intelligence, but it is 
our very life and consolation ! 



XIII 

OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE NO BASIS IN 
REASON 

Miracles a stumbling-block to reason, only when reason is misapplied 
— Reason really declares nothing in regard to them — A revelation 
of God, which is spiritual and eternal, rises, as on eagle's wings, 
far above the ken of reason — True philosophers acknowledge 
the limits of reason — Science owes all its advance to the silent 
recognition of intelligence, as arranging all, not to that idea of 
dull lifeless uniformity suggested by pantheism and materialism, 
which alone declare miracles to be impossible — Miracle entirely 
apart from nature — This shown in detail — Whence the beginning 
of things — Absolute necessity of direct Divine guidance to account 
for the beginning — The prophecies, — many of them indisputable, 
— continuous miracles — Special difficulties raised as to Jonah, 
Balaam, etc. — Continuous miracles in conversion, answers to 
prayer, etc. — God present in all His works, creating, controlling, 
guiding all. 

The subject of this morning's lecture is the super- 
natural and the miraculous character of Bible history. 
Abundant and various as are the evidences, and the 
corroborative testimonies attesting the truthfulness 
and accuracy of Bible history, yet, as I stated at the 
conclusion of my last lecture, this Bible history 
requires not merely credence on the part of man, 
but also faith. And this seems at first sight a 
contradiction, because if there is sufficient evidence 
to attest the truthfulness of a history, then the 
human intellect, unaided, ought to be able to receive 



OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE BASELESS 263 

this history. But the reason, why the human 
intellect is not able to realise this history, is not 
because there is any lack of evidence to attest its 
veracity, but because it is a history of a super- | 
natural and miraculous character. It is the revela- 
tion of God, and of a kingdom which is spiritual 
and eternal ; it is the manifestation and develop- 
ment in time, of the counsels of redemption, which 
God had in Himself, before the foundations of 
the world were laid ; and it is because God, and 
the things that refer to the eternal and spiritual 
kingdom, are inwoven into this history, that without 
the light and power of the Holy Ghost man is unable 
to realise it. And therefore this history is an object 
of faith, and faith is the gift of God. 

As God who is unseen reveals Himself in this 
history, and the plan which He has purposed in 
Himself develops in this history, we are brought 
altogether out of the region and realm of that which 
is seen, and that which can be apprehended by 
human reason, or taken cognisance of by the limited 
powers of human intellect. It is here that the op- 
position of science has always come into collision 
with that which has been the object of the faith of 
Christ's Church. But, as I endeavoured to show in 
my last lecture, that not merely does history not 
come into collisi'on with the records of the Bible, but 
that the Bible alone contains the facts and the prin- 
ciples upon which a philosophical and universal his- 
tory can be based, so I may also assert that there is 
no collision whatever between science, if science keeps 
to its own limits, and that revelation of God and a 
supernatural kingdom which is given to us in the 
Scripture. They who do not believe in a personal 



264 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

God, but are atheists or pantheists, cannot logically 
accept the possibility of miracles ; but all who believe 
that there is a living God, full of wisdom and of 
power and of love, can find no difficulty in accept- 
ing a testimony which shows us that God reveals 
Himself, and that God acts, here upon earth, and 
within the history of mankind. Therefore all that 
the Scripture tells us of God and of the unseen 
world, instead of interfering with the discoveries of 
science, only lays the basis and firm foundation for 
the activity of science. To quote a man who speaks 
of this subject with authority, Professor Dawson, 
" Any rational or successful pursuit of science im- 
plies the feeling of a community between the Author 
and Contriver and Ruler of nature, and the mind 
which can understand it. To science nature must 
be a cosmos, not a fortuitous chaos, and everything 
in the history and arrangements of the universe must 
be a manifestation not only of order but of design. 
The true man of science must believe in a divine 
creative will, in a God who manifests Himself and 
is therefore not the hypothetical God of the agnostic ; 
in a God who must be distinct from and above ma- 
terial things, and therefore not the shadowy God of 
the pantheist who is everywhere and yet nowhere ; 
in' a God who causes the unity and uniformity of 
nature, and therefore not one of the many gods of 
polytheism ; in a God who acts on His rational crea- 
tures daily in a thousand ways by His fatherly regard 
for their welfare, and who reveals Himself to them ; 
a God, in short, who made the world and all things 
therein, and who made man in His own image and 
likeness." And with this corresponds the fact, that 
science has only prospered in Christendom, and that 



NO BASIS IN REASON 265 

the nations who are polytheists, or who are pan- 
theists, are not able to cultivate science for the 
simple reason, that they do not believe in God who 
is the creator and upholder of all things, — and there- 
fore the phenomena, of which they take cognisance, 
have not to them any coherence and unity, — 
attributing as they do the different things which they 
see, to the powers of nature, or to personifications of 
these powers. But we who believe in a living God, 
although we see nature and trace the laws of nature, 
yet do not conceive of these laws of nature as if 
they put any limits to the power of God or to the 
liberty of God. He who has made the laws, for 
laws pre-suppose a law-giver, uses them as His ser- 
vants and as His medium, but He asserts within 
them, and above them, His own power and His own 
wisdom. Therefore it is the same thing whether the 
heathen nations deify the various powers of nature 
separately, and worship the sun or the moon, or the 
god of the ocean, or the god of trees, or whether 
scientific men worship nature as a whole and as an 
organism. This idolatry of nature and of the laws 
of nature, is the very thing against which the miracles 
which are recorded in Scripture history do testify, 
declaring to us that Jehovah is the God, who hath 
made the heavens and the earth, and who rulcth 
over all. If there is a kingdom which is visible, and 
which has its inexorable laws, there is likewise a king- 
dom which at present is unseen, the laws of which 
are still more inexorable and more binding. There 
is a kingdom, of which science can take no cognis- 
ance. There is God ; there are angels ; there is the 
kingdom of evil, with Satan at its head ; there is 
the inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled. 



266 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

and that fadeth not away, — even heaven ; there is the 
abyss which is prepared for Satan and his angels. 
Now, of all this unseen kingdom which is ruled over 
by God the Lord we know nothing, except by the 
revelation of the Most High, both in His word and in 
our hearts, through the Holy Spirit. The laws of the 
spiritual kingdom are, if comparison be possible, far 
more stringent, and far more unchangeable, than the 
laws of this outer world which we can trace. But 
more than that. Before God ever thought and car- 
ried into execution the creation of heaven and earth, 
as we see them now, there was, in the depths of the 
Divine Mind, the idea of the new heavens and the 
new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, of a new 
creation in Christ Jesus in which there would be no 
sin and no sorrow, of a new race born again of the 
Spirit — to whom it would be impossible ever to fall 
away from communion with God. And it was only 
because of this purpose, which He purposed in Him- 
self, before the foundations of the world were laid, 
that the heavens and the earth which we behold were 
created, and that the whole history took place, which 
is recorded in Scripture, and which culminates in Christ, 
and which shall end in the manifestation of His glory. 
Therefore this is the God who, out of this unseen 
realm, in order to carry out the purposes of His 
love, manifests Himself in that history which is re- 
corded in Scripture ; and this is the law which, out of 
the unseen world, is made manifest in the visible 
world — " With man it is impossible, but with God 
all things are possible." Salvation is of Jehovah 
and of Jehovah exclusively. Only by the interven- 
tion of divine power and wisdom, actuated by love, 
can man be redeemed, this world transformed, and 



NO BASIS IN REASON 267 

the kingdom of the Most High set up upon earth. 
Hence the eternal necessity, founded in the very 
essence of things, of the supernatural and miraculous, 
in the history of redemption. When we come in 
this light to the consideration of the Old Testament 
history, which can never for a moment be separated 
from Christ, — for without Christ it could never have 
taken place, without Christ it could never have been 
carried out, without Christ it could have had no end 
and no purpose — I say, when we come to the con- 
sideration of the miracles recorded in the sacred 
history in this light, then what we cannot comprehend 
appears full of wisdom and consistency. 

And before I enter on the enumeration of the 
special points, let me remind you of a few facts in 
connection with the miracles, ~ It has been said that 
miracle is beyond nature, and that miracle is above 
nature, and that miracle is against nature. It would 
be better to say that miracle is entirely apart from 
nature. In miracle, for great reasons and purposes, 
God acts here upon earth, apa.t from the laws of 
nature. The thing that is important 'in a miracle is 
not that something extraordinary has happened for 
which we can give no account as to its origination, — 
but the important thing in a miracle is that God 
acts. It is nothing to say that something remark- 
able has happened, and that we are not able to 
account for the phenomenon. The essence of a 
miracle is this — that God interferes, that God acts, 
to reveal Himself and to carry out His purposes. 
Therefore every miracle is regarded in the Bible, as 
full of teaching and instruction. It is the revela- 
tion, the manifestation, the exposition of God's 
character and purpose. Those miracles that occur 



268 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

in the Bible are not isolated and unconnected with 
one another, but are all links in a chain, and by 
, these links the history of God's kingdom upon earth 
\ is carried on, for without them it could not have 
., been carried on. They appear at the important 
^ junctures and times of crisis when, to speak with 
; reverence, it is necessary, according to the divine 
wisdom, that God should interfere. And further, 
it is a mistake to say that in these miracles the 
laws of nature are suspended. The laws of nature 
are by no means suspended. When Jesus changed 
the water into wine at the marriage at Cana, all 
water was not changed into wine. All the water 
that was in Cana was not changed into wine. Only 
this water upon which the will of Christ acted was 
so changed. If, when the axe of iron was cast 
into the water, somebody else had cast an axe 
\ of iron into the water, it would have sunk. The 
laws of specific gravity were not suspended, but in 
this particular instance there was an action of the 
divine omnipotence, for His gracious purposes. And 
nothing illustrates this principle more than that most 
remarkable instance of the divine power — God raising 
the dead. When our blessed Saviour raised the little 
maid he said, " Give her something to eat." The 
laws of nature were not suspended. He raised the 
little child, and, immediately after He had raised the 
little child, there was not the slightest disturbance 
upon the face of the waters of nature ; she had 
immediately to go back again to the general course. 
And when He raised the young man, the son of the 
widow of Nain, He gave him back to his mother ; 
and when He raised Lazarus, who had been four 
days in the grave. He said, " Loose him, and let him 



NO BASIS IN REASON. 269 



go." Nor do miracles, or prophecy, interfere with 
the action of human liberty and of human respon- 
sibility. Miracles never forced people to believe in 
Jesus, or to believe in Jehovah. The decision of 
the will was left untouched by the miracle. We 
see from the 9th chapter of John that although 
the most persistent, minute cross-examination of 
the man that was blind took place, the Pharisees 
resisted the most circumstantial evidence, that could 
have been brought before a judge. And the raising 
of Lazarus from the grave only accelerated the 
decision of the enemies of Christ, that He must 
be put to death. Where is there in the miracles 
that are recorded in Scripture, anything that inter- 
feres with science properly so-called, or that inter- 
feres with all the ideas and instincts of reason and 
of feeling ? 

Look then at the chain of supernatural and 
miraculous events. I call events supernatural, when 
God speaks, when God appears, when God Himself 
acts. I call them miraculous whon God, through the 
agency of His chosen servants who have faith, breaks 
as it were through the phenomena that we behold, and 
manifests His own presence and His own purpose. 
Supernatural in the strictest sense of the word is the 
history of the creation of the world, which reason 
could never have elaborated, and of which human 
testimony could not possibly have given witness — 
that God created the heavens and the earth, and 
that God created man in His image, that God 
formed Eve out of Adam because the whole human 
race was to consist in one, and not in two beginnings. 
Supernatural is the record of the fall of man — that 
the idea of evil emanated not out of the depths 



270 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

of his own being, but that, from a realm beyond 
our ken, the Prince of Darkness suggested to him 
disobedience to God. Supernatural is the record 
that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was taken 
up into heaven, in order to convince a secularised 
race, which sought its safety and its happiness in 
the present, that there was another world and 
another life. Supernatural was the judgment of 
the Flood upon the human race, and the deliverance 
of Noah and his household. Supernatural was the 
origin of nations and the origin of the diversity of 
languages, because God in His own mind saw already 
that, in Christ Jesus and by the power of the Holy 
Ghost, He would unite all the families of the earth 
into perfect harmony and concord, through the One 
that He had chosen. With all these supernatural 
manifestations and acts, which are recorded in the 
first part of the book of Genesis, there is associ- 
ated the teaching which God designs. God teaches 
— that is, His light descends unto man. God 
works marvellous things — that is. His power is 
made manifest to man. There was a tendency 
to emigrate, at the time when Abraham lived in 
Ur of the Chaldees, but to no natural impulse was 
the emigration of Abraham to be attributed ; for 
the beginning of the race which God had chosen 
must be altogether in the hands of God. It was a 
supernatural and divine call, when the God of glory 
appeared unto Abraham, that made him go into the 
land which God showed him. Supernatural was the 
origin of the Jewish race in the birth of Isaac, so 
much so that the apostle Paul teaches us, that the 
faith which Abraham exercised in believing the 
divine promise, was nothing short of believing that 



NO BASIS IN REASON 271 



God was able to raise the dead, and to call into 
existence that which is not. When now in the 
providence of God the children of Jacob had got 
into Egypt, and were there brought into conflict, 
400 years afterwards, with the most civilised nation 
of the world, it was not, because the Jewish nation 
had attained to a maturity of independence and of 
courage, that they conceived the idea of emancipa- 
ting themselves from the yoke, — for when first the 
idea was presented to them they rebelled against 
it ; nor was it because Moses, actuated by a heroic 
patriotism, resolved to be the rescuer of his nation, 
for long after the painful experience that he had 
had, — which taught him that that which is born of 
the flesh is flesh, and that the unhallowed and un- 
bridled enthusiasm and energy of human nature are 
not able to do anything in the kingdom of God, — 
God appeared to him in the burning bush, and had 
to persuade and command the unwilling Moses to go 
to Pharaoh. By miracles and signs, He persuaded 
Moses that the God of his fathers was also with him. 
By miracles and mighty wonders did God deliver 
Israel out of Egypt, when He made manifest to 
Pharaoh and to all the Egyptians, that the powers 
of nature which they worshipped were altogether 
under the subjection of the Most High. And on 
that memorable night when the first born in Egypt, 
and only the first born — when not viany of the first 
born, but all of the first born of Egypt — died, God 
brought Israel out of Egypt with His mighty hand 
and outstretched arm, and by the blood of the paschal 
lamb redeemed them, to show them that it was not 
merely His power nor His faithfulness, but also His 
mercy (which was to be exhibited in the atonement), 



272 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

that made them, who were as guilty as the Egyptians, 
to be His witnesses and His people. By miracle they 
passed through the Red Sea ; — for all that the 
rationalists have suggested about the natural tide and 
flow cannot account for the passage of two millions of 
human beings just at that time, — and for the destruc- 
tion afterwards of their enemies. By miracle, and 
through the faith of Moses, they passed through the 
Red Sea, in order that they might witness that stu- 
pendous and magnificent manifestation of Jehovah, 
when, with His mighty angels, He promulgated the 
fiery and blessed and everlasting law of Mount Sinai. 
Not in any other way, could it have been done ; not 
in any other way, could it have been impressed upon 
Israel and on other nations, that Israel was the nation 
of God, chosen by Him in His sovereignty, formed by 
Him for Himself, and that all that was to come out of 
Israel (" Salvation is of the Jews ") was not because 
in Israel there was any worthiness or any material, 
out of which there could come a deliverance and a 
redemption, but because God Himself in Israel, and 
among Israel, and through Israel, was about to carry 
out His gracious promises. For forty years in the 
wilderness, there was a supernatural and miraculous 
history. The angel of His presence went with them. 
The manifestation of glory was vouchsafed to them. 
Manna came down from heaven and fed them. Out 
of the rock came water and they drank. Against 
their enemies they were protected by the might of 
God. By looking at the brazen serpent they were 
healed, in order that they might learn the doctrine 
of sin and of salvation. God did mighty works and 
revealed Himself in a marvellous way to the children 
of Israel in the wilderness. Here comes an episode 



NO BASIS IN REASON 273 

frequently used by the opponents of revelation, who 
see only the surface, and who are very easily satisfied 
with the most feeble satire, upon what appears to 
them to be grotesque. When the Israelites first 
come into contact with their enemies, the Amorites 
and the Moabites, just before they are going to take 
possession of the land promised to their fathers, 
there is a wonderful witness raised up for Jehovah, 
not from among the Israelites but from among the 
heathen nations, — Balaam, who was a seer and 
knew that Jehovah was God. Whether he had 
retained some of the primaeval knowledge, handed 
down among the heathen, or whether the report of 
the mighty acts of God in Egypt and in the wilderness 
had reached him as it had reached many others, — 
he was a seer, one who used divination, a soothsayer, 
many of whom were to be found among the heathen. 
These were, as Scripture teaches us, not merely 
deceivers, but they possessed a real knowledge and 
a real power, in connection with demons. Balaam 
wished to combine his heathen magic, with the know- 
ledge of Jehovah. Deeply rooted in his heart was 
the love of money, — covetousness, which is idolatry. 
He was a double-hearted and a double-minded man, 
yet full of light and knowledge — a great psychological 
miracle, and, several times, held up for our instruction 
and warning, in the books of the New Testament. 
When God permits him to go up to Balak, but on 
the condition that he should speak only what God 
commanded him, — God, seeing the perversity of his 
heart, wished to rebuke him and to hinder him, and 
then there came the angel with the drawn sword. 
But he that was a seer became blind and saw not, 
and he that was as a prophet, above the level of 

T 



274 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

humanity, sank below the level of humanity, so that, 
as the apostle Peter teaches us, the dumb animal 
rebuked his madness. God rebuked his perversity by 
making this irrational animal speak to him. The ass 
saw the angel of the Lord and was frightened. The 
ass also perceived the injustice of his master and 
resented it, — and in both these acts the animal did 
not transcend the limits of what we see all animals 
around us continually do. That the ass expressed 
both its fright, and its indignation at being wrong- 
fully treated, is according to natural phenomena. 
The miracle begins here — that with the human voice 
he rebuked the perversity of Balaam. And that all 
this happened not in an ecstasy or a dream is evident 
from this fact — that not until after this rebuke did 
Balaam behold the angel of the Lord. But this 
miracle, striking as it is, is only one of the incidental 
and accidental features of this wonderful narrative. 
The importance of Balaam and his predictions lies 
in quite a different territory. Balaam himself, in 
wonderful words, shows to us the great distinction 
that there is between prophecy, and the enchantment 
and divination, common among the heathen nations 
— as the consulting the flight of birds, or the fore- 
showing and foretelling of future events from the 
configuration of the intestines of sacrifices, and so on. 
In Israel it was the living God who, by His word, 
was to direct their history. Many of the sayings 
of Balaam have become household words among the 
faithful — his declaration that God was not man that 
He should lie, or the son of man that He should not 
be faithful to His promise ; or his prediction of the 
king that was to arise in Israel and give to it the 
victory, — the star that was to come out of Jacob and 



NO BASIS IN REASON 275 

the sceptre that was to come out of Judah. Won- 
derful were the predictions of Balaam, and this was 
their significance — that here God raised up a witness, 
out of heathenism, to show to Israel that — weak and 
powerless as they were in themselves, and about to 
enter upon a task which appeared and must appear 
to man impossible, that of conquering the nations — 
they were strong in the Lord. Here is a heathen 
seer, who beholds heathen power after heathen power 
rise up, while all of them are destroyed and dis- 
appear, and Israel alone remains. There is no pro- 
phecy, until we come to the prophecy of Daniel, 
which passes forth to the utmost distance, like the 
prophecy of Balaam, for, as a heathen, he was more 
concerned with the relation of Israel to the world, 
than with Israel to itself. ~So in this prophecy of 
Balaam we find — what is afterwards more fully re- 
vealed by Daniel — that from the west, the Isles of 
Chittim in the Mediterranean Sea, that is Greece, 
there should come the victory of Israel over Asshur 
that was to rise up against her. As Balaam says, 
Israel is a nation apart, separated by God for a 
great purpose. 

When Israel was now before the land of Canaan 
and Moses had been taken away, miracles continued 
to be wrought, and for good reason. Only think of 
Joshua's position. For forty years he had come into 
contact with Israel, and become acquainted with their 
unfaithfulness and their want of courage. The task 
that was before him was one of stupendous magnitude, 
for Canaan vvas full of fortified cities, and was inhabited 
by warlike nations, and he was to succeed Moses, 
that unique man in antiquity, — the man of God. No 
wonder that God said to him, " Only be not afraid, 



276 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

and be of courage ; as I was with Moses, so I will 
be with thee." And therefore as miracles were 
wrought by Moses, miracles were wrought by Joshua. 
Again by miracle, they crossed the Jordan, as they 
had crossed the Red Sea. By miracle the walls 
of Jericho fell down. By miracle the sun and the 
moon had to serve the purposes of God, — the sun 
being deified by these nations as Baal, and the 
moon as Ashtaroth. The angel of the covenant 
appeared to Joshua, even as God appeared to 
Moses in the fiery bush. The Prince of the Hosts 
of the Lord spoke to Joshua and assured him that 
he would be with them. Thus it was necessary, 
in order that Israel should take possession of the 
land, for miracles to be performed. 

When we come to David who is the type of Christ, 
the man after the heart of God, and whose reign was 
not to be like the reign of an earthly monarch, then 
again we find that the election and appointment of 
David to be king was brought about supernatur- 
ally. He was not chosen by Israel, for Israel had 
regard to that which is outward, and the man who 
appeared a hero and valiant in battle was the man 
that attracted their attention ; but David the son 
of Jesse that kept the flock of his father was pointed 
out by God Himself, to the prophet Samuel. And 
again God appeared to David and showed to him 
the sure mercies of David, and that future One 
in whom God would lay the foundation of the 
kingdom. Then there was no miracle for a long 
period until the days of Elijah and EHsha, when 
the whole nation had fallen into idolatry, when the 
king was a worshipper of Baal, and hundreds and 
hundreds of priests were priests of Baal. Then God, 



NO BAS/S AV REASON 277 

to arrest that downward progress, and to prepare and 
retain the land for the future kingdom, sent Elijah. 
Sudden was his appearance, mysterious was his 
ascension. Like fire his word burned, and lit up the 
darkness of that idolatrous race. He by prayer 
shut the doors of heaven, so that it rained not 
for three years and a half, and he opened again the 
clouds of heaven, and the rain descended. Fire 
came down from heaven upon the altar and it 
was made manifest to the nation that "Jehovah, 
He is the God " ; and although, as was necessary 
for the exigencies of the time, the miracles of Elijah 
were chiefly of this terrible and solemn character, 
yet the mercy of the Lord was also made manifest 
by Elijah, even as God spoke to him in the still 
small voice. And the "trust of Elijah in the mercy 
of God, who was able to feed the hungry and to 
bring to life again those that were dead, we are 
shown in his miracles. And as Elijah, so Elisha. 
As Joshua succeeded Moses, so Elisha succeeded 
Elijah, and in him the healing, saving, redeeming 
power of Jehovah was made more manifest. These 
were the two witnesses that God chose. They did 
not prophesy in word. They did not look forward 
so much to the Messiah as did the other prophets. 
Their miracles were their sermons. God, by mighty 
signs and wonders, roused this idolatrous nation to 
seek Him and return to His favour. 

I refer now, further, to two miracles which it is 
necessary for me to mention — one, because it is often 
made the object of ridicule, while the importance of 
it is not seen. For a thousand people who will say 
" Do you believe that Balaam's ass spoke ? " there 
is scarcely one who has read the history of Balaam — 



278 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

SO wonderful, so instructive, so sublime, and with such 
strong evidence, — in its prophetic character, and 
world-wide predictions, — of the revelation which this 
man had from God. Likewise is this the case with 
the miracle of Jonah. What a wonderful book is 
that little book of Jonah with its four chapters ! even 
in Scripture history it is conspicuous for its vivid 
and graphic character. As Dr. Pusey says, " There 
is not a single line in this book which does not 
advance the history. Here there is no reflection : 
here everything is fact and picture." What a large 
idea is in this book of Jonah. God is not the 
God of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. God 
sends him to Nineveh. There are two miracles 
recorded in the book. One belongs to outward 
nature and the other belongs to the inward king- 
dom. How great was the miracle of the conversion 
of the Ninevites — that this great city which con- 
tained millions of inhabitants, from the king upon 
his throne down to the lowest of the people, repented, 
simply by hearing the message of a strange prophet 
who was landed on their shore. So deep was their 
repentance, that they caused even the " beasts to be 
covered with sackcloth." Who but the mighty 
Spirit of God could have wrought this. 

But as to the other miracle, that God prepared a 
monster of the sea to swallow Jonah, and preserve the 
life of Jonah for three days, and afterwards bring him 
forth on to the dry land, — " improbable," " impossible," 
as it appears, — there are many instances corroborative 
of this miracle, to be found in secular history, of great 
monsters of the sea which are only able to swallow 
their prey entire, or to break it in pieces. But when 
we come to remember what God purposed by this 



NO BASIS IN REASON 279 

history, when we see first the sublime idea of this 
history — the pity of God upon the Gentiles, — and 
how God afterwards would, through Israel and through 
Him who was typified by Jonah, command men 
everywhere to repent and to turn to His love — when 
we remember how our blessed Saviour repeatedly 
alluded to this book of Jonah in both its aspects, first, 
as typifying Himself, — His being buried in the earth 
and afterwards raised again from the grave, — and, 
secondly, as referring also to the repentance of the 
Ninevites who would stand up in judgment against 
those who did not obey the voice of Him who was 
greater than Jonah — then we see the magnificence 
of this book, and we see also that this miracle is not 
a grotesque prodigy of human imagination, but the 
manifestation of Him who is perfect wisdom and 
perfect love. 

And so also of the miracles that are recorded in 
the book of Daniel. The great besetting sin of 
Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards of Darius and all of 
these mighty men, was pride, as if they by their own 
wisdom had built up these great and mighty empires. 
And how easy it was for them to suppose that the 
God of Israel was a weak God, for if, as Sennacherib 
afterwards said. He were a strong God, how could 
He have allowed His nation to be subjugated by 
other nations ? Therefore God showed to Nebu- 
chadnezzar and to Darius that He was the God and 
the only God, and that although He allowed Israel, 
on account of Israel's sin, to be chastised by them, 
and to be taken into captivity by them, yet His 
power was an infinite power, neither was His love to 
Israel a love which could ever change or falter. And 
the efiect of these miracles we can see in that 



2So OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

wonderful edict of Cyrus. Cyrus says that he has 
written this edict in obedience to the God of the 
Jews,— to Jehovah. But I want now to show how 
all these miracles were preparatory, and how they 
were intimately connected with our blessed Saviour 
Jesus Christ. 

All that is supernatural in the Old Testament, 
all that is miraculous in the Old Testament, has its 
explanation, has its root and its purpose, in Christ 
Jesus. You who are Christians understand that on 
different occasions God spoke to Abraham, God 
spoke to Moses, and appeared to Abraham and ap- 
peared to Moses. The glory of the Lord was seen, 
between the Cherubim, in the Holy of Holies. That 
was supernatural, but all this happened only because 
in the fulness of time God appeared. He was 
made manifest in flesh. We beheld His glory, the 
glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father. The 
Shekinah tabernacled in Him who tabernacled 
and dwelt among us. And if God spoke. His ulti- 
mate and His perfect message to mankind was 
given by Jesus, and Jesus Himself is the Word, in 
which all the thoughts and purposes of God are 
expressed. 

Look we to miracles. God acts ; God heals 
the sick ; God forgives sin ; God subdues the 
powers of nature. God is stronger than Satan 
and will vanquish him. God is able to raise the 
dead. Jesus says, " Thy sins are forgiven." Jesus 
cleanses the leper ; Jesus restores to the blind their 
sight ; Jesus rebukes the storm ; Jesus conquers 
devils ; Jesus raises the dead. And if God in the 
Old Testament performed the miracles by the agency 
of men who had faith — by faith Moses did this and 



NO BASJS IN REASON 281 

this — SO did Jesus also by faith do miracles, by 
the finger of God, trusting in God, doing the things 
which His Father showed Him, and doing the works 
because the Father was in Him, and He in the 
Father. Wonderful double relation of Jesus ! He 
does the miracle by His own power — " My Father 
worketh hitherto and I work." He raises the dead, 
because He is the Resurrection and the Life, and, 
at the same time. He thanks God at the grave of 
Lazarus, because the Father always hears Him. 
What a meeting of the two lines is there here. 
Theophany: God appears; God's glory is manifested; 
God does miracles. Jesus appears ; Jesus' glory is 
manifested ; Jesus works miracles — that is one line : 
and the other line that the faithful Israelite, the servant 
of the Lord, trusting in God, doeth marvels. Jesus 
who is both the Son and the servant, believing in the 
Father and communing with the Father, showing great 
signs, as in the raising of Lazarus — " The sickness was 
not unto death, but that the Son of God should be 
glorified " because He is God — namely, that Jehovah, 
who says, " My glory will I not give to another." 
He has given it from all eternity to His Son who is 
one uuth Him. And afterwards Jesus says, " Did I 
not tell thee that if thou wouldst believe thou shouldst 
see the glory of God," for greater contrast there could 
not be than between a body mouldering in the grave 
when corruption has already made itself manifest, 
and the glory of Him who is the Creator of heaven 
and earth, and who shall raise the dead and introduce 
His everlasting kingdom. So in Christ Jesus all 
the supernatural and all the miraculous finds its 
confirmation. But more than that, it is very difficult 
for people to believe that miracles happened in the 



282 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

past, if they do not believe that miracles will happen 
again in the future. The history of the world ac- 
cording to them is most unsymmetrical. There is 
no architectural order in it. There first comes a 
period in which there are miracles — the appearing 
of God Himself, and the action of God Himself — and 
then there comes a long period in which there are no 
miracles, — and that period is to be ended suddenly, 
abruptly, and without any transition, by the eternal 
condition, at the last Judgment. Not such is the view 
of Scripture. When Jesus Christ rose from the dead 
we were born again unto a lively hope and unto an 
inheritance which is incorruptible and undefiled and 
that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for those 
who are waiting for the things that shall be revealed 
to them, at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the beginning. 
It is the future. Looking back (becau-se time does not 
come in here) : — What Jesus is. He is to all believers, 
whether they lived before the advent or after the ad- 
vent, and in Him is contained the actual beginning 
of that new period in the world's history, when God 
is made manifest. So the prophet Micah says that 
the same kind of miracles shall happen again, as 
hajapened when God brought Israel out of Egypt ; 
and the prophet Jeremiah says that when God shall 
bring again Israel, whom He has scattered, all the 
ends of the earth and the far-off islands shall take 
notice of it, and shall say, " What wonderful things 
God has done." If then we believe this — that the 
present period is only a pause, only an interval, even 
as there were 400 years between Joseph and the 
call of Moses, and as there were 400 years 
between the prophet Malachi and the appearing 



NO BASIS IN REASON 283 

of the angel to the father of John the Baptist — 
if we beheve that, in these pauses, God is still the 
same God, and that just as a great musician puts 
the thought of melody, not merely in the notes 
which we hear, but also in the pauses — the rhythm of 
the silence of these being part and parcel of the great 
idea — so shall He come again, and there shall 
begin again the mighty manifestations and acts of 
God. And in the intermediate time is there not 
miracle ? Have there not been miracles since Jesus 
went up to heaven, and since the last of the miracles 
performed by the apostles ? Is not every one that 
is convinced of sin and brought to love Jesus a 
miracle ? Is it not the Holy Ghost Himself who 
has quickened him ? Is it not the power put forth 
by Jesus Himself? I when " I am lifted up" am a 
prince and a Saviour to give repentance and the 
remission of sins. Is not God's answering prayer 
a miracle ? When God gives to a man, who by 
nature is impatient and proud, meekness and patience, 
is not that a miracle ? When God enlightens our 
hearts, when God subdues our sins under us, is not 
this a miracle ? There is a continuous current of 
miracle in the present dispensation. To the out- 
ward world it is not striking — " The world seeth me 
no more, but ye shall see me, and your hearts shall 
rejoice and your joy no man can take from you." 
Thus then we believe in God in the past, God in the 
present, God who will come again. 

And in conclusion, children of God, do not imagine 
that what the Bible tells us of miracle is to make us 
less thoughtful, or to make us less appreciative of 
that wonderful first creation in which He has placed 
us. It is not to make us think nature of no 



284 OBJECTIONS TO MIRACLE HAVE 

importance, because miracles are more striking, but, 
on the contrary, it is to rouse our dormant sense, 
that we may adore God in all the wonderful works 
which He has made, in the sun which rules by day 
and in the moon and stars which shine by night, in 
the beautiful and striking way in which He renews, 
every year, the face of nature, — in the lilies which 
grow, because God clothes them. Oh how beautiful 
in the Psalms, when the psalmist speaks of God who 
created the heavens and the earth, and who created 
the sun, the moon and the stars, and afterwards goes 
on to say, " Who delivered our fathers out of Egypt 
and led them through the Red Sea." It appears 
there as if he thought everything miraculous, and 
as if the Jews had no idea of nature apart from 
miracle. Oh, far from that. But this is what the 
psalmist wishes to show to us. It is because of these 
mighty miracles, that now we have an eye open and 
a heart open to adore God in all the wonderful 
works of the first creation. And how beautifully He 
attributes everything, not to the power of God, or to 
the wisdom of God, or to the sovereignty of God. 
Why did God create sun, moon, and stars ? Why 
does He watch over nature, year by year, and bring 
forth the seasons in their order? Because His 
mercy endureth for ever; — that salvation -mercy 
which brought Israel out of Egypt, and which after- 
wards sent to us His own blessed Son. It is because 
of His mercy, that all things are around us to praise 
Him and to magnify His holy name. And is the 
miraculous character of Bible history to put, as it 
were, providence into the background, so that we 
may not notice it or admire it ? Oh that be far from 
us. It is just because we believe in the living God 



NO BASIS IN REASON 285 

who hath done great miracles and will do them again, 
that we are sure that not even a sparrow can fall to 
the ground without His will, that the very hairs of 
our head are numbered, that He knows our daily 
steps, and that He takes cognisance of our daily 
difficulties and duties. Believe then in God. That 
is the sum of all things. As Jesus said to the 
disciples, " Have faith in God." 



XIV 

THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 
ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 

The doctrinal, typical, and prophetical aspects of the history of Israel — 
These all combined, and to be viewed in combination — Doctrine 
viewed alone becomes metaphysical, losing vitality ; the history 
alone becomes lifeless ; types alone become fanciful — -Scripture 
history throughout written in the prophetic spirit — Prophecy re- 
lates not only to the future, but to the revealing of God's mind — 
The whole object of the Scripture to reveal God, and to show 
how man may come into communion with God — The personal 
revelations of God in the Old Testament pointed to incarnation — 
God to be present with them — Yet the Deliverer to be a man, the 
seed of the woman and Son of David, etc. — Resume of the books 
showing their relations — First three chapters of Genesis — Election 
of Abraham — Jews and Gentiles in the future perfected Church. 

The .subject upon which I enter this morning is the 
doctrinal, typical, and prophetical aspects of the hi.story 
of Israel. My remarks will have as their centre 
the person of Abraham ; and I hope in my next 
lecture to continue the subject, taking as the start- 
ing-point Moses, and to conclude the subject this 
day fortnight, if it please God, taking for the starting- 
point David. 

The combination of history, teaching, prophecy 
and type which we find in Scripture is so perfect and 
excellent, that it is extremely difficult to give a correct 
view of each of these component parts separately. If 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 2S7 

we look at the doctrine apart from the history, the 
tendency is to represent the doctrine in an abstruse 
and metaphysical method, lacking all the vitality, 
fragrance, and affectionateness which we find inter- 
twined in the Scripture statements, with the dealings 
of God, and the development of the history of redemp- 
tion. If the history which is recorded in Scripture is 
viewed apart from the prophecies, which are still to be 
fulfilled in the future, the danger is that the history 
may be regarded merely in its abstract and doctrinal 
point of view, and that great violence may be done 
to it, by an interpretation which chooses to call itself 
spiritual, but which after all is carnal, because it does 
not submit itself to the wisdom of God. Rather 
should it be called phantomising, in not fully seeing 
that the history was an actual and concrete reality, 
even as the Son of God, who came down from heaven, 
really and truly was made flesh. For that reason 
the continuous and diligent study of Scripture is ab- 
solutely necessary, and nothing can take the place of 
Scripture — not the most perfect and skilfully framed 
creeds, not the most thoughtful and earnest preaching. 
As we find that God has provided all over the earth 
certain springs which possess healing power, — 
chemistry is able to analyse them, chemistry is also 
able to produce artificially a compound containing 
the same elements, but nothing that human skill can 
prepare is exactly the same as that which Nature 
herself produces — so is it with that teaching which 
God has given to us in His own Word. Botany 
may describe very accurately a plant, but it is quite 
a different thing, which even the ignorant can 
enjoy, to see the plant, and to be impressed directly 
with its organic unity, with its beauty or with its 



288 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND rTOPIIETICAL 

fragrance. Every one who sees a splendid build 
ing is immediately impressed with the harmony, 
and the majesty, and the beauty of the building, 
but very few people would be able to understand the 
architect's plan of that building, as it is sketched 
upon paper. Therefore God, who in great wisdom and 
love has framed the history of His people, and has 
also caused the Scripture to be written by inspiration 
of the Holy Ghost, has provided for the poor and 
lowly, and has bound us to the continual and diligent 
study of the Scriptures, for only in this way can 
His great purpose be fulfilled in us, that, through 
the Scriptures, we may be brought into harmony 
and communion with Himself, and be made heirs 
of salvation. 

The Scripture history is throughout written in 
the prophetic spirit, for the great object in that history 
is to show to us God's will concerning us, His purposes 
concerning the human race, what man is to think 
concerning God, and what life it is that God requires 
of man. But the acts of God are so sublime, and 
so full of manifold wisdom, that it would have been 
impossible for Israel and for us to understand them, 
unless they had always been accompanied by the 
Word. 

It is quite true, as the proverb says, that facts 
speak, and so do those facts which are recorded in 
Scripture, but still it is necessary that they should 
be accompanied by the teaching given by God 
Himself, — and this teaching we may call prophetic, 
not merely because it relates to the future, but 
because it reveals God and His mind. Therefore 
God says through the prophet Amos that there is 
nothing that the Lord God ever does without 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 2S9 

revealing His secret, that is to say, His plan and 
His idea to His servants the prophets. And thus 
it is said by David that God made known His 
ways to Moses and His acts to the children of 
Israel ; that is, so to speak, the meaning and the 
philosophy were made known to the prophet, the 
outward fulfilment and embodiment were seen by all 
the people. And here it is very remarkable that 
the mysterious man of whom I spoke in my last 
lecture, — Balaam, — to whom in the New Testament 
there corresponds Simon Magus, saw the dilTerence 
that there was between heathen prophecy, and 
prophecy among the people of God, for he declares, 
that among God's people there is no divination and 
soothsaying, as among the heathen. Out of a great 
desire to know the future, whether a god would 
prosper or not some war expedition, they consulted 
oracles. There were men and women who had 
some natural gift of seeing into the future, and 
who were often possessed by some demon. These 
persons excited themselves, by all kinds of outward 
and physical means, into a state of ecstasy, and, 
from observing physical signs, they predicted the 
future in a most ambiguous manner, — purposely 
ambiguous, — and often their predictions came to 
nothing. But not thus was it to be in Israel. There 
was to be no divination of that kind in Israel, because 
God Himself at the proper time, in every critical 
juncture, would show to Israel by His servants the 
prophets, the purpose which He purposed in Himself 
And as thus the history was always accompanied 
by doctrine, and was always accompanied by the 
interpretation given by the prophets, so the history 
was always connected with the promise of the future, 

U 



290 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETLCAL 

for it was all pointing towards the appointed end. 
Likewise the history itself was a prophecy of the 
future. As the proverb says, " History repeats 
itself," or " Coming events cast their shadows before 
them." The whole history of God, in His relations, 
so to speak, with mankind and with Israel, was a 
continual repetition of the same idea and the same 
action on God's part, which were at last perfectly ful- 
filled in Jesus Christ. Thus the explanation of words 
in doctrine, the promise of the future in prophecy, and 
the prefiguration of that which was coming in type, 
continually went side by side — one illustrating and 
confirming the other, and all keeping pace together ; 
that is to say, God did not predict anything, of which 
the beginning was not already intelligible, to those 
to whom the message was sent. 

You see from this, that the exposition of the Old 
Testament in one respect is very complex, — but to 
us who are living in the days of fulfilment there 
is given most abundant light, and we are provided 
with the clue which is to lead us safely to mani- 
fold and yet united preparation — for Jesus Christ 
is the end, the consummation of all things. He is 
the end of the Jewish history. This you can see 
from the genealogy in the book of Matthew. 
Abraham is chosen that he may lead to David. 
David is not the fulfilment, and therefore the gene- 
alogy goes on to the Babylonish captivity. From 
the Babylonish captivity there are fourteen genera- 
tions which lead up to Jesus, — and in Him the whole 
Jewish history reached its culminating point, but not 
its termination. The Jewish history is complete in 
Christ, and the future of the Jewish history is secured 
in Christ, but it has not come to an end, and there- 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 291 

fore they do greatly err who suppose that the Jewish 
history ends with the first advent and the Christian 
Church. Rather, in the first advent of Jesus Christ, 
is the foundation laid, upon which the yet future 
history of Israel is to be constructed, for He was a 
minister of the circumcision to confirm the promises 
which were given to our father Abraham. The law 
is fulfilled in Christ. Christ is the end of the law 
to every one that believeth in Him, — and thus, in a 
manifold way, the negative aspect of the law is 
fulfilled. Having confessed our sin, and seeing that 
the curse of God rests upon every one that abideth 
not in the law, Christ has removed the curse and 
delivered us from the^ sentence of the law, because 
He has delivered us from the guilt which we have 
incurred ; but, more than that, the righteousness of 
the law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the 
flesh but after the spirit, and therefore, to them that 
are in Christ Jesus, the law is no longer outside of 
them as a foreign power, but the law by the Holy 
Ghost has been put within them, by Christ's dwell- 
ing in them. But although this is perfectly true, 
Christ has not done away with the law of Moses in 
its social and in its national aspect, but every jot 
and tittle of this law will yet be realised and fulfilled, 
when God will make a new covenant with Israel 
and put His Spirit within them. Then shall they 
walk in all the statutes and ordinances and precepts 
which God gave to them through Moses. So also 
are all the prophecies fulfilled in Christ Jesus, and 
yet not one prophecy is fulfilled perfectly. If we 
separate the first from the second advent of Christ, 
it is impossible for us to explain the prophecies. 
The New Testament fulfilment is the key to open the 



292 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PKOniETICAL 

lock, but there is a way of opening the lock and 
spoiling the wards of the lock, displacing them, 
injuring them, destroying them. Not thus must we 
apply the fulfilment to the promises, by explaining 
away in an artificial method, what is most clearly 
taught. When Christ said in the synagogue of 
Nazareth, " This day is this Scripture fulfilled in 
your ears," He said so truly, because He is the ful- 
filment of the Scripture, and yet that very Scripture 
was not completely fulfilled, for the day of vengeance 
had not come. That day was still in the future. 
When we read that the Messiah that was promised 
to Israel has come, this is true, but it is not yet per- 
fectly fulfilled, because in the days of the Messiah it 
is said that the nations shall learn war no more and 
that there shall be peace everywhere,^ — and we know 
perfectly well that this is not the case now. Christ 
is the fulfilment of all the Old Testament prophecies. 
When we view, Christ both in His first advent and 
also in His second advent, then we have in Christ 
Jesus as He came, and as we expect Him to come, 
the explanation of the history of the law and of the 
promises, and also the fulfilment of the types, for the 
types, both in what they are, and are not, able to re- 
present, have now found their end in Jesus Christ, in 
whom everything that God has provided for His 
people is treasured up, and the fulness of the God- 
head dwelleth bodily. 

But to make this subject still clearer and simpler, — 
my wish is to impress upon you that, notwithstanding 
all the complex and manifold character of the Old 
Testament revelation, which was unfolded very slowly 
" at sundry times, and in divers manners," and in 
which there were a great many elements combined. 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 293 

that appear to us at first sight not to be spiritual but 
rather ephemeral — notwithstanding all this, there 
was great simplicity and great unity. In Christ 
Jesus we have God and man. The whole object of 
the Scripture, and the whole object of God Him- 
self is to reveal God, as we may know Him, and 
also to show how man may come into communion 
with God. And this can only be realised in Jesus 
Christ, who is both God and man. He is the Son 
of God. He is the Son of man. He came down 
from heaven. He was born in Bethlehem, He 
was sent of the Father : He came of His own 
accord. He was the Son of Abraham and yet 
Jehovah, " Before Abraham was, I Am." He is the 
Son of David, and yet He is David's Lord. Now 
these two lines which we see united in Christ are so 
wonderful that it is impossible for us to explain the 
mode in which they are united, so that the incarnation, 
and the history which dates from the incarnation, 
must remain a mystery to us, — though we see the fact, 
and we are convinced and impressed by that wonder- 
ful gift which has been bestowed upon us, in One 
who is both God and man in one person, — a truth 
revealed in the Old Testament, in its two separate 
aspects. 

We have two lines in the Old Testament, which it 
must have been very difficult for the saints in those 
days to combine. The first line is from heaven to 
earth. God wishes to reveal Himself He appears ; 
He speaks ; He reveals Himself in the form of the 
angel of the covenant. That angel of the covenant 
speaks as Jehovah ; He gives promises which only 
divine wisdom and omnipotence can give, and they 
to whom He appears say " We have seen Jehovah." 



294 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 

It is of this angel of the covenant that we read, that 
He appeared to Moses in the burning bush and said 
to him, " I am the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and 
Jacob." This angel, in whom was the presence of 
God and the countenance of God, was He who led 
them through the wilderness. It was again a theo- 
phany which was vouchsafed to the prophet Isaiah, 
and afterwards it is explained to us that Isaiah beheld 
Christ and His glory. In the similitude of the Son of 
man, God was again seen by Ezekiel and by Daniel, 
until the last prophets most distinctly describe to us 
that the Lord Jehovah Himself will come. And yet 
this Jehovah that comes distinguishes Himself from 
the Jehovah that sends Him. And in that last pro- 
phecy of Malachi, it is said that there should be sent 
a messenger to go before the face of Jehovah. In 
all these manifestations, we see God appearing, making 
Himself visible and revealing Himself as the redeem- 
ing, delivering, helping, and friendly God to the saints, 
until we come to God manifest in the flesh. 

But there is another line in the Old Testament 
going from earth heavenwards, for from the beginning 
of the history, God's people were told that they were 
to be delivered through a man, the seed of the 
woman, one who belongs to Shem, the seed of 
Abraham, one of the tribe of Judah, the Son of 
David, the servant of God, the root of Jesse, growing 
up out of a dry ground. Now as they saw God 
coming down from heaven, and then saw man going 
up to heaven, — how difficult must it have been for 
them to combine those two lines. When Jesus says 
" Salvation is of the Jews," when the prophet Jonah 
says " Salvation is of Jehovah," Jesus is the ex- 
planation and combination of the two things, for He 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 295 

who came out of Israel, out of this earth, was none 
other than the Only Begotten of the Father. 

Let me for a icw moments remind you of the 
historical books as they are given to us, and of the 
unity which they form. There are first the five 
books of Moses upon which the whole building 
rests, and these five books of Moses are inseparable. 
Exodus shows how God redeemed Israel out of 
Egypt and brought Israel to Himself. Leviticus 
shows us how this redeemed nation was sanctified 
to God by the institution of the priesthood, of the 
sacrifices, and of the festivals. Numbers shows us 
how this nation was disciplined in the wilderness, 
and the utter failure of the nation to accomplish 
their destiny in the person of Aaron, and even in the 
person of Moses himself, who, on account of his sin, 
and because he did not fully represent the character 
of God, was excluded from entrance into the 
land of Canaan. Now it is impossible that the 
history could conclude with the book of Numbers, 
because then it would conclude as it were with 
sunset, in the darkness of despondency. Therefore 
in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses appears as 
a prophet, showing the loving-kindness of the Lord, 
and how, notwithstanding all the unfaithfulness of 
Israel and his own imperfection and sin, God would 
carry out His plan. Immediately after the book of 
Deuteronomy there comes the book of Joshua which 
is joined to the book of Deuteronomy by the con- 
junction " and." As the book of Joshua joins 
Deuteronomy by " and," so the book of the Judges 
joins the book of Joshua by saying " And after the 
death of Joshua." Judges and the two books of 
Samuel are connected together in the same way, for 



296 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 

in the book of Samuel, Samuel is represented as 
judging Israel ; he was, as it were, the last of 
the Judges, and the connecting link with David. 
The two books of Samuel and the two books of 
Kings are so blended and joined together that, in 
the Septuagint, they are called " The four books of 
Samuel " and they bring the history of Israel down 
to the captivity, — concluding with a gleam of hope and 
sunshine. Now to supplement this history there is 
another book of history given to us the object 
of which is to show, how, after the Babylonish 
captivity, God's people were restored to their own 
land, and the temple service and the priesthood were 
revived. And, in order to bring this clearly before 
us, it was necessary to give again the genealogies of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their children, and 
to connect them with the beginning. So the book of 
Chronicles begins with Adam — showing to us the 
genealogies, as they follow. But as the 2nd book 
of Chronicles ends by telling us how Cyrus gave 
permission to the Jews to return to their own land, 
the identical two verses open the book of Ezra, and 
in Ezra and Nehemiah we have an account of 
what formed the beginning of the new period of 
Israel's history ; so all these books are united and 
compacted together, and all have one object in view, 
and what is important to that object is narrated, 
and what is not important to that object is omitted, — 
however important it may appear to the eyes of 
the mere secular or world historian. But Exodus 
would have no meaning, unless it was preceded by 
the book of Genesis, for who were this people that 
Moses was called to bring out of Egypt ? Who was 
Abraham ? who was Isaac ? and who was Jacob, the 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 297 

God of whom appears to Moses and gives to him 
that wonderful commission ? It is therefore necessary 
that there should precede the book of Exodus, a 
book to explain all this ; and so we have not merely 
the history of the patriarchs, and the history of 
Joseph, by whom the transition was made from 
Canaan into Egypt, — but to understand Abraham 
aright, and the God of Abraham, it was necessary 
also to have the history of the creation of the world, 
of Adam, and of Noah, and of the promises which 
were given to the fathers. Therefore Genesis is the 
necessary prologue to the three middle books of 
the Pentateuch, as the book of Deuteronomy is the 
epilogue. 

Now look at the first three chapters of the book 
of Genesis. They form a complete whole : God the 
creator of heaven and of earth : man created in the 
image of God, as the culminating point of God's 
creation : the Sabbath instituted : Paradise described : 
Eve formed out of Adam : sin introduced by an 
adverse spiritual power : the consequences of sin, — 
death, spiritual, temporal, and everlasting : the 
immediate result of sin, the conscience acting in 
man and accusing him, so that he is ashamed and 
he is afraid : the intervention of God, in His great 
mercy and love, revealing the deliverance that would 
be brought through the seed of the woman, by One 
that was to suffer, and also describing the period 
which was now to commence, when the judgment 
was to be blended with mercy, — the period of chastise- 
ment when man, through a severe discipline, was to 
learn the meaning of life and was to be exercised unto 
godliness. Then there was the manifestation of God 
Himself at the entrance of Paradise. Now we find 



298 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 

that the descendants of Adam, as Adam and Eve 
themselves, understood this teaching. They had 
faith in God the Creator omnipotent, all-wise, all- 
loving, merciful and compassionate to them. They 
knew that the wages of sin was death : they knew 
that finally there was to come a Deliverer who, by 
His own sufferings, was to gain the victory over death 
and over him that had the power of death. They 
worshipped God in the way, in which He had 
appointed ; they relied upon the promise, as we 
can see from the words of Eve at the birth of 
Cain, and from what Lamech said at the birth of 
Noah. So they believed, they hoped, they prayed, 
and they served God. There must have been a 
manifestation of the presence of the Lord, identified 
with some particular place, as we read that Cain fled 
from before the presence of the Lord. 

Now the New Testament shows to us the deep 
meaning of this history. How much the saints of 
God understood, who lived in those days, it is 
impossible for us to define, but what God meant us 
to learn by this history is made manifest, in the 
writings of the New Testament, for the promise was 
all along developing itself The human race was 
from the very beginning divided into the seed of the 
woman and the seed of the serpent. The descend- 
ants of Cain who left God, the descendants of Seth 
who knew God, called upon the name of Jehovah, for 
although the name Jehovah, in the fulness of its 
meaning, was only disclosed to Israel by Moses, — 
just as the meaning of God being the Father was not 
fully disclosed to Israel until Jesus Christ came, — yet 
they knew the name Jehovah and they called upon 
this God of promise. And the future was seen by 



ASPECTS OF THE' HISTORY OF ISRAEL 299 

them, for Enoch prophesied of it, in which prophecy 
he saw approximately the judgment of the Flood, but 
ultimately also the final appearing of Jehovah with 
all His saints. When we come to Noah we find that 
there is a new beginning. He is the second father 
of the human race. There is a new beginning — a 
beginning which was made only possible through 
judgment and deliverance. And here we meet for 
the first time with that remarkable expression 
" Covenant." " God made a covenant." Among the 
heathen nations, such an idea, as that of the Deity or 
any god making a covenant, would have been incom- 
prehensible. They only understood man's offering to 
the gods, as it were, bribes and sacrifices on the con- 
dition that they would give them successes in some 
enterprise which they undertook ; but for God, in His 
sovereignty and in His wonderful love. Himself initiat- 
ing a disposition and arrangement of things, in which, 
according to His own nature, He promised blessings 
which were to extend over centuries — nay, unto the 
end of history, — this is a sublime idea which is only 
revealed to us in the Scriptures. Covenant, in the 
Scripture sense, is not a compact that is made 
between two parties, and which is nullified by either 
of the parties not fulfilling the conditions, but cove- 
nant, as is manifest from the covenant with Noah, is 
simply a promise on God's part that, as long as this 
dispensation lasts. He will not destroy the world again 
with water, and that the four seasons are to succeed 
one another, — and, as a seal of that gracious arrange- 
ment which God made, — He gave to Noah and his 
descendants the sign of the bow in the cloud. And 
Noah was a prophet, for to him was revealed the future 
history of the race — that Shem was to belong specially 



300 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 

to Jehovah, and that Japheth was to dwell in the tents 
of Shem. And thus the first promise which was 
indefinite, speaking merely of the seed of the 
woman, received a more definite locality, and became 
limited to one of the three sections of the human 
race — to Shem. 

To consider next the election of Abraham. There 
now comes a period in the history of the world where 
God, who hitherto has been dealing with the human 
race, as one, consisting simply of families, leaves 
all other nations to themselves, and separates to 
Him one nation, that among them He may kindle 
and preserve the light which was ultimately to 
illumine the whole world. Just as we see in the 
story of the prodigal that the younger son is allowed 
by the father to leave the father's house — not without 
the portion of goods that belong to him, — that is 
the reminiscence of the primaeval revelation, and the 
testimony of God in the heart and conscience — and 
then to go into a far country, so it was that all the 
nations of the world, with the exception of the nation 
that was elected in Abraham, were left to go their own 
ways. These were the times of ignorance. And the 
purpose was this — to bring out what was in man apart 
from God — " The world by wisdom knew not God " 
— and to show what was the character of sin, when 
unrestrained by the divine law. You find described 
in the ist chapter of the epistle to the Romans how 
the nations forgot God, and because they forgot God, 
because they were unthankful, they were given up, to 
work out the evil of their own hearts and of their own 
souls. And yet, notwithstanding all this, during this 
dispensation, God does not forget the Gentiles, and, 
when Abraham and the patriarchs and Moses are 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 301 

brought into contact with the Gentiles, they never 
treat them as if they were outside, as it were, of the 
goodness and the wisdom of God, but ahvays testify 
to them in the name of God, and appeal to that which 
they have still retained in their remembrance, of the 
knowledge of the Most High. But the question still 
is asked, — and it is a great stumbling-block to many, 
whether they give utterance to it or not, Why did 
God for so many centuries restrict Himself to one 
nation, and why were such special promises given 
to it only ? The reasons that are given to us in 
Scripture are manifold and are very satisfactory, 
although it is impossible for us to understand wholly 
the counsel of God. Even the apostle Paul, after 
having devoted three chapters to explaining the 
mystery of Israel, bursts forth into the exclamation : 
" Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God ! how unsearchable are His judg- 
ments, and His ways past finding out." It was 
necessary to separate Israel in order that the fire 
should be kindled, and that it should be intense in 
its brightness and in its heat. It was necessary to 
hedge round Israel from all the other nations by the 
strictest injunctions, lest they should forget the know- 
ledge which God had given them, and become con- 
taminated with the idolatry and abominations of the 
nations, that were around them. It was necessary 
that there should be prepared a soil out of which 
Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, was to appear. He 
required the whole of the Jewish nation, so to speak, 
from whom He was to arise. And also there was 
to be a godly people to welcome Him, who should 
form afterwards the nucleus of the Church of Christ. 
It is necessary for us also to remember that this 



302 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 

election of Israel has a spiritual aspect. Not all are 
Israel, who are of Israel. Even in Israel the nation 
as a whole does not obtain the election, but a portion 
obtains it. It was not a carnal descent. It was not 
Ishmael but Isaac ; it was not Esau but Jacob ; and 
therefore of those who are really descended from 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is only those who are 
godly, spiritually minded, the " little flock," to whom 
pertaineth the promise. So that in Israel also there 
were the godly and the ungodly, the righteous and 
the unrighteous, the wheat and the chaff And that 
it was not in a carnal and mere outward way, that God 
chose them, is manifest from this — that at all times, 
from the very beginning, there was the greatest facility 
afforded to those, who were not of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, to be joined to the commonwealth of Israel. 
There were hundreds and thousands of strangers from 
other nations, who were allowed to be admitted into 
the Jewish nation, and to become heirs of the cove- 
nant. 

Lastly, you must remember this. The apostle 
Paul considers those who believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ to be the representatives of the nation. The 
others, although numerically they were the majority, 
he looks upon as the exception. He uses the ex- 
pression, " And what if some have not believed ? " 
Now in reality the " some " that have not believed 
are a far larger number than those that have believed, 
but viewed in a spiritual light, and according to the 
reality of God, they are only the exception. The 
real stem of the nation is represented by those who 
believe in Jesus ; and when Israel is restored again 
to its own land and the times are fulfilled, the wall 
of separation between Jew and Gentile, which has 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 303 

been abolished in Christ Jesus, will never be built 
up again. That which has passed away will not be 
restored. It will be an actual and real re-establish- 
ment of Israel in their kingdom. The law of Moses 
will be revived in a transfigured way according to 
the spirit of the new covenant, but the union between 
Israel and the nations who believe in God and His 
Anointed will be a perfect union, and from among 
the Gentiles, there will be chosen to be in Jerusalem 
and in the Holy Land, those who hold a special 
position in Israel, — and through all the world there 
will be offered to God a pure offering, because they 
shall know His name. 

Now with regard to Abraham, we read the ex- 
pression that God appeared to him. God appeared to 
Abraham. There was again that theophany of God, 
in which God made Himself known to Abraham. 
And to Abraham appeared also the angel of the 
Lord, who said, " By myself have I sworn." To 
Abraham also there was given the great promise, 
and that promise given to him not in itself, but 
in the form of a covenant, for with Abraham God 
made a covenant which He repeated several times, 
which He confirmed with an oath, which He ratified 
again to Isaac and Jacob, and upon which the 
whole future not merely of Israel rests, but also 
the salvation of all the Gentiles who believe in 
our Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason Abraham 
is not merely the father of Israel but the father of 
all the faithful, and all they that believe in Christ 
Jesus are of the seed of Abraham, and inheritors 
of the promises given to him. 

Now that covenant that was made with Abraham 
was, as the covenant with Noah, an unconditional 



304 THE DOCTKINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 

covenant, sovereign, absolute, unchangeable. The 
transgressions of Israel, even though they culminate 
in the crucifixion of Jesus, cannot put aside that 
covenant, for the gifts and calling of God are 
without repentance. The law, which came 400 
years afterwards, cannot possibly interfere with this 
covenant. It only came in, by way of parenthesis, 
to make sin appear exceeding sinful, and to heighten 
the expectation of the grace of God. This covenant 
with Abraham is the sovereignty of God, into which 
He always retreats, whenever the sin of Israel renders 
it impossible for Him, humanly speaking, to go on 
with them, for the history of Israel would otherwise 
often have come to a standstill. When they crucified 
Jesus Christ, how would it have been possible for 
God to continue His connection with the people of 
Israel, if it had not been that He retreated into Himself, 
into His own sovereignty, into His eternal counsel, 
into that abounding grace to the chief of sinners ? 
And therefore it is that an oath is connected with 
the covenant, although the word of God without an 
oath is perfectly sure and steadfast. When God 
says " As I live, saith the Lord," He thereby signifies 
that He is retreating, as it were, into His own depths, 
and that what He is going to promise is so connected 
with Himself, with His character, with His love, 
with His glory, with His purpose, that He Himself 
is the guarantee that it must come to pass. Oh, 
what a firm foundation for our own personal salva- 
tion and for the future of Israel — nay, for the future 
of the whole race. 

And the covenant with Abraham embraces three 
points, and you cannot take any one of them away — 
first, that from Abraham was to come an exceedingly 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 305 

numerous nation ; secondly, that that nation was to 
possess the land of Canaan ; and thirdly, that the 
seed of Abraham was to be the centre of blessing to 
all the families of the earth. When we look at these 
three points, if it were not for the middle point of 
the promise of the land, it might be possible for 
people to say, that when Christ came, and when 
Christ by His death became the Saviour of sinners, 
the promises to Abraham were fulfilled. He had 
become a numerous nation ; the Messiah had come ; 
and through that Messiah blessings had gone forth 
to all the nations of the earth. Take all the promises 
which are based upon this covenant that God made 
with Abraham in a literal and concrete sense, and 
never for a moment forget the land of Canaan, in 
which all these promises were to be fulfilled. You 
can find no promise in the Old Testament with 
reference to Israel — their conversion and the out- 
pouring of the Holy Spirit upon them, — except in 
connection with their national restoration to the 
land which God gave to their fathers. In that 
very chapter in Jeremiah, when God says that He 
will make a new covenant with them, and give to 
them a new heart, and put a right spirit within 
them — in that very chapter, and in the subsequent 
chapters, are described to us distinctly that, in that 
very land which He gave to their fathers, all this 
would take place, and also that their national exist- 
ence would endure, as long as the sun and moon 
and the heavens ; — and so you find in all the pro- 
phets, that these things remain steadfast and sure ; 
and Jesus Christ Himself confirmed these promises ; 
— the oath which God sware to Abraham. 

And when God made a covenant and revealed 
X 



3o6 THE DOCTRINAL, TYPICAL, AND PROPHETICAL 

Himself to Abraham, there was as yet no law. God 
simply said to Abraham, " I am the Lord ; walk thou 
before me and be perfect." On the part of Abraham 
there was faith. He believed God, and he believed the 
promises of God. When Isaac was not yet born, 
the non-existence of Isaac was no difficulty to his 
faith. When Isaac was born and grown up, the death 
of Isaac was no obstacle to his faith. He offered 
him up to the Lord, knowing that God was able 
to bring him back again from the dead. And we 
find the patriarchs Isaac and Jacob walking in the 
footsteps of the Lord, until in Jacob we see that the 
promise receives a fuller development. Jacob himself 
received the revelations of the angel, the redeemer, 
that led him, all his life long. To Him he looked 
as the source of blessing for his posterity ; and the 
nation that God has chosen does not take its name 
from Abraham or Isaac, but from Jacob. And why 
is it so ? Because Jacob was called " Israel " just as 
Jesus, when He was upon earth, changed the name 
of Simon. Only the Searcher of Hearts has the 
power of changing the name. Jesus called Simon 
" Cephas." Jehovah changed the name of Abram 
into Abraham, and unto Jacob he gave the name 
" Israel," and that has become the name of the whole 
nation. And why is this the name of the whole 
nation ? Because it is the divinely given character 
of the nation, as opposed to all the nations of the 
world. Israel gains the victory. Israel gains the 
victory only from God. Israel gains the victory 
from God, only through strong crying and tears and 
supplication ; and Israel, after having gained the 
victory, does not go forth with the firm and jubilant 
tread of a hero, but halting, even as the apostle Paul 



ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL 307 

went forth with the thorn in his flesh, glorying even 
in his infirmities, because the strength of God was 
made perfect in his weakness. 

And here is a remarkable thing — that at so early 
a stage the twelve tribes knew themselves to be one, 
and had one common name. The Athenian historian, 
Thucydides, states as a very extraordinary thing, that 
the various Greek tribes lived for so many centuries 
without having any bond of unity between them, and 
that only recently had there been found out a name, 
by which the whole of these different tribes could 
be designated, — the name of Hellenes ; — whereas we 
see from the song of Deborah, the early date of which 
has never been doubted by any expositor, that all 
the tribes knew themselves to be Israel, and that 
their union was in Jehovah from whom alone came 
the victory, and unto whom alone belong the glory 
and the praise. And to Jacob there was revealed, 
when he blessed his twelve sons, that from among 
all those sons, Judah was the one that was chosen, — 
that out of the tribe of Judah there was to come 
the Deliverer. 

And now I wish to make one remark. The apostle 
Paul describes the character of the whole dispensation 
up to Moses, in one sentence. He says that until 
Moses, sin was in the world, but because there was 
no law sin was not as yet imputed, nevertheless death 
reigned from Adam upon those that had not sinned 
after the similitude of Adam's transgression. And we 
find in the whole book of Genesis that the conscious- 
ness of sin was dormant in the people. Abraham 
humbles himself before God ; he says " I am but dust 
and ashes." Jacob when he humbles himself before God 
says, " I am unworthy of the least of thy mercies " ; — 



3o8 DOCTRINAL ASPECTS OF HISTORY OF ISRAEL 

but those deep confessions of sin and guilt, which 
we find afterwards among the saints of God, we do 
not find in the book of Genesis. Why ? Because 
the law had not yet been given to make sin exceed- 
ing sinful. Of ' course they had the consciousness 
of sin and the knowledge of the difference between 
good and evil, but the consciousness of sin was not 
prominent. And therefore the types in Genesis do 
not refer so much to Christ the expiation and substi- 
tute, as to Christ the restorer from death unto life, 
and from suffering unto glory. This is the typology 
of the book of Genesis. Abel the righteous one 
has to suffer. Enoch the godly one is taken up 
into heaven. Noah and his household are restored 
from death unto life, and make a new commencement 
of history. Melchisedek appears to Abraham not 
as a sacrificing priest, but as the type of Him who is 
the priest after the power of an endless life, and who 
is able to give blessing to the children of God, — 
offering to them bread and wine. Isaac is not so 
much a type of Christ as a substitute, as of the 
method in which God through death can yet fulfil 
the promise, and restore the seed to whom is given 
that promise. Joseph, lastly, is the type of Christ, 
through humiliation and prison and suffering, exalted 
to power and glory, — to be the source of salvation 
and blessing to His own household, as well as to 
Egypt. 



XV 

THE DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE DECA- 
LOGUE AND OF THE WHOLE LAW 

The great lessons conveyed in the Pentateuch — The paschal lamb — 
The departure from Egypt — Mount Sinai — The Shemites gener- 
ally idolaters, not monotheists — De Quincey on the idea of God — 
The philosopher's abstract God — The covenant of Sinai, what 
was it ? — Not a covenant of works — The covenant with David 
(2 Samuel vii.) not of works — The law, usually divided into moral, 
ceremonial, and political — An element of truth in this division, but 
in the main deceptive — Not morality that is taught in the ten 
commandments, but our relation to God — How striking is the 
statement, " Unto a thousand generations of them that love me 
and keep my commandments " — Love to God the centre of the 
law — The so-called "ceremonial" law deeply spiritual — The ten 
commandments, as it were, the face of the law — ^Jehovah repeated 
6000 times in Old Testament, and Elohim only 2500 times — God 
speaks as the loving God with the very tenderness of Christ, 
when on earth — The love of God felt and seen with all intensity 
in the Psalms and the Prophets — Propitiation understood clearly — 
Christ the fulfilment and clear interpreter of the law. 

Let us for a few moments look back again on the 
teaching connected with the history recorded in the 
book of Genesis. Genesis is the Alpha of Scripture, 
and because Jesus Christ is the Alpha, Genesis is full 
of Christ. The higher teaching which is given to us 
in the apostolic scriptures brings out deeper truths 
than those which we considered, when we dwelt 
chiefly upon the training which God gave to the 
human race, and to His chosen ones, Abraham, Isaac, 



3IO DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

and Jacob, — limiting ourselves to what they were 
most probably able to understand at the time. But 
who that has read the gospels and the epistles and 
the book of Revelation can fail to see, hidden in 
the book of Genesis, still more wonderful truths and 
spiritual and heavenly realities ? Before that " In the 
beginning" of the ist chapter of Genesis, there is the 
eternal beginning which is revealed to us in the ist 
chapter of the gospel of John ; and in the light of 
that chapter of John and many declarations of the 
apostle Paul — who can fail to see in the ist chapter 
of Genesis the revelation of the blessed Trinity ? 
Ten times it is written " And God said," for by the 
word of the Lord all things were made, — and the Spirit 
of God was moving upon the face of the waters. 
Who can fail to see, in the light of the teaching given 
to us in Corinthians and in Romans, that the first 
Adam was a type of the last Adam, and that, as by 
the disobedience of the first many were constituted 
sinners, so by the obedience of Christ, the everlasting 
Son, many are constituted righteous, in the sight of 
God. The formation of Eve out of Adam, we are 
told in the epistle to the Ephesians, is a type of the 
creation of the Church of Jesus Christ, out of Him 
who was crucified and who rose again from the dead. 
The meaning of God resting upon the seventh day 
is explained to us in the epistle to the Hebrews, as 
showing that God in His great love wishes to intro- 
duce us by faith into His rest, that thus we may find 
our blessedness in Him. The victory that is pro- 
nounced shall be achieved over the serpent. What 
else is it but that victory which spiritually was 
achieved when Jesus Christ died upon the cross 
and the prince of this world was cast out, and which 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 311 

shall be achieved actually, as is written in the 
20th chapter of the book of Revelation, when 
Satan shall be chained for a thousand years, — and 
finally accomplished, when Satan shall be bruised 
under our heel ? In the light of the New Testa- 
ment also we can understand how Abel, Noah, and 
Enoch unitedly show forth that Jesus the Good 
Shepherd, the Righteous One, must die, that Jesus 
was the deliverer of the household of faith from 
the floods of God's judgment, and that Jesus, like 
Enoch, ascended up on high, having this testimony — 
that He went unto the Father, because of righteous- 
ness. In the light of the New Testament we under- 
stand that Babel had its antitype in Pentecost, when, 
by the gift of the Holy Ghost, all nations were 
united together in one faith* and in the common 
understanding of the mysteries of God, and that 
the judgment upon Babel is typical of that last 
judgment, which we read of in the book of Revela- 
tion, when Babylon shall fall. A different and a 
higher light falls also upon the life and upon the 
manifestations of God to the patriarchs, Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob ; and in the final history with 
which Genesis concludes, Joseph is truly understood 
in the prophetic light, not as a type of Christ's 
relation to sinners in general, but a type of Christ's 
relation to Israel, after He has been a blessing to 
the Gentiles, when He rouses the children of Jacob — 
who, although nominally they have been faithful to 
the God of their fathers, yet in reality have blood- 
guiltiness upon their conscience, — when He reveals 
Himself to them in the greatest tenderness and love 
" I am Joseph your brother." 

But however these deep mysteries may to a 



DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 



certain extent have been known unto the people 
of that age, one thing, as we have seen already, 
we must clearly understand. They did know that 
God revealed Himself to them ; God showed Himself 
as a God of mercy ; God gave to them the promise 
of a deliverer from death and the consequences of 
sin, — and their attitude was simply the attitude of 
faith, which is the only attitude in which, during any 
dispensation, men are able to please God. They 
were believers. It was by faith that they served 
God, and the very first time that the word " righteous- 
ness " is mentioned in Scripture is when we are told 
that Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to 
him for righteousness ; and the very first time that 
the word " priest " is mentioned in Scripture is in 
connection with MelcWsedek, who had in himself 
the right of priesthood, and who is a type of that 
Priest, who is now seated upon the throne of glory 
and brings blessings, under the covenant, unto His 
people. 

Now when, in the book of Exodus, the history 
which had been interrupted for 400 years begins 
again, we see the children of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, in sore captivity and bondage, for the great 
truth had to be typified that the people whom God 
has elected are a people, who are in great misery 
and who must be redeemed. In Egypt, Israel, 
according to the providence of God, was brought 
into contact with the highest civilised nation of the 
world, and yet at the same time was kept separate, 
on account of the antipathy which the Egyptians had 
to shepherds ; and although the idolatry of Egypt 
to a certain extent contaminated Israel, yet, on 
the whole, Israel kept faithful to the remembrance 



OF TFIE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 313 

of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So it 
was by faith, that the parents of Moses watched over 
the infant that was entrusted to their care. In God 
they beHeved, and in the promises which were made 
to the fathers ; and they had not forgotten, that 
Joseph by faith had given commandment concerning 
his bones, that these were not ahvays to remain in 
Egypt, — but that surely God would bring Israel back 
into the land which He had given them, and that 
then they were to bury him in that land, that was 
dear to the heart of faith. 

As they had this faith in God the Creator, in 
the only God who had chosen their fathers, and 
whose covenant was an unconditional covenant, so 
it was necessary that these truths should be still 
more firmly impressed upon their mind, before the 
great dealings of God with Israel commenced, and 
they beheld God in His supremacy, in the miracles 
to be wrought upon the Egyptians, — which proved 
to them that God was above all the powers of 
nature. And the connection between sin and death 
was made manifest to them, — how God redeemed 
them out of Egypt simply on account of His 
sovereign mercy, and not owing to any superior 
merit which they possessed, — by that wonderful 
type of the paschal lamb and of the blood which 
was sprinkled against the door-post, — showing that 
they also were under sin and under the curse and 
under the condemnation of death ; but that God in 
His great mercy had provided a substitute, by the 
shedding of whose blood it was possible for Him 
to carry out His counsels, with mercy and com- 
passion. 

And that night in Egypt — when, by faith, they 



314 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

slew the paschal lamb, and sprinkled the blood 
and ate of the lamb, having their loins girded, in 
repentance, in humility, in trustfulness towards God, 
in thankfulness, in entire dependence upon His 
power and His grace — was memorable throughout 
the whole history of Israel. It was the beginning 
of their history. Afterwards in the book of Kings, 
when Solomon built the temple, we are told that 
it was so many hundred years, after God brought 
Israel out of Egypt. This was the beginning of their 
chronology. It was the first month of the year to 
them — the beginning of every year. The whole 
national existence is rooted in that exodus from 
Egypt — a marvellous fact which will find its full 
illustration when, according to the gospel of John, 
Israel in the latter days shall look upon Him whom 
they have pierced, upon that Paschal Lamb of which 
not a bone was to be broken, — Alpha of Israel's 
history, Omega of Israel's history. All the prophets 
allude to this — that God brought them out of Egypt. 
And you remember who it was that said, "With de- 
sire have I desired to eat this passover with you " ? 
Not until the greater event shall happen, the still 
more wonderful manifestation of the power and grace 
of Jehovah, when He shall make Israel again His 
manifest and glorified people, shall that night be 
forgotten, or the remembrance of that great exodus 
be eclipsed. And not merely the exodus, but also 
the deliverance out of the Red Sea was entirely by 
the power of God, for this also was to be made 
secure unto Israel. Not merely did God alone 
redeem them out of Egypt, but it was God only 
who was their sanctification, and who separated them 
from Egypt and from the power of Egypt. Oh, how 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 315 

clearly did they understand this, as we can see from 
the song of Moses and of the people of Israel. God 
only is holy : God only has redeemed His people. 
He has redeemed them to bring them near to 
Himself, into His sanctuary, where they may be 
in communion with Him, and where He shall reign 
for ever and for ever. 

But the reason why He brought them out of 
Egypt, as was said to Pharaoh, was this, that upon 
Mount Sinai He might betroth them to Himself, as 
His own people. Mount Sinai is generally viewed, 
and correctly viewed, as the mountain where God 
manifested His severe justice and His awful majesty. 
Even Moses himself was filled with fear and trem- 
bling. But there is another aspect of Mount Sinai, 
which we also read of in the prophets. It was, as 
it were, the place where God, who had brought His 
bride out of Egypt, betrothed Himself unto her — " I 
remember the time of thy first love, the day of 
thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the 
wilderness." 

Israel is God's son. Unto Israel pertaineth the 
adoption. Here we are not in the territory of 
creation and nature. Whatever is said about God 
being a universal Father, and there are some ele- 
ments of truth in that representation, it does not come 
into contact with this. Not because God created 
Israel, and has created all human beings, is He 
their Father, else the term " adoption " would have 
no meaning. " Out of Egypt have I called my Son." 
He has adopted them to be His — " His own." 

Now before I begin to speak about what God 
said and did upon Mount Sinai, let me remind you 
of that wonderful phenomenon which has become 



3i6 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

more and more observed by all historians and by all 
those who investigate the religions of different nations 
— that there is no trace of monotheism to be found, 
until we come to Abraham, and therefore only by 
something wonderful and supernatural can we account 
for the fact that there was a race who worshipped 
one God and who knew that God by name, — for all 
the Shemitic tribes, without any exception except the 
Jews, were idolaters. They were not merely idolaters, 
but the number of their gods and goddesses and 
heroes was exceedingly large, and their idolatry was 
connected with great abominations and degrading 
sins. In Israel, although there was often a falling 
away into idolatry, or an attempt to combine the 
worship of Jehovah with idolatrous usages and places, 
all idolatry is always regarded, as a going after strange 
gods and after new gods. There is not the slightest 
trace in Scripture or anywhere else that Israel at 
one period of its existence was idolatrous, or semi- 
idolatrous, and then gradually rose to the knowledge 
of there being one God. Idolatry is always spoken 
of as adultery which Israel had committed, for God 
was from the beginning the very God who had re- 
vealed Himself unto them, and it was only from other 
nations that they adopted the idea of there being 
gods, and of those idolatrous services which were 
connected with their ideas of gods. There is the 
significant fact that there is no word in the Hebrew 
language for goddess. Such an idea never entered 
into their minds. That entire degradation of the idea 
of God — whatever remnant there may have been left 
in the minds of men from the primaeval revelation — 
that thorough degradation of the idea of God, accord- 
ing to which men knew really of no God, but only a 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 317 

personification of the powers of life, had never any 
place among the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob. This point is so important that I would like 
to read to you two statements in regard to it of two 
English writers ; the first from De Ouincey. "There 
is one sole idea of God. Of this idea two things 
may be affirmed : the first thing, that it is at the root 
of all absolute grandeur, of all truth, and of all moral 
perfection ; the second is, that, natural and easy 
as it seems when once unfolded, it could only have 
been unfolded by Revelation ; and to all eternity, he 
that started with the false conception of God, could 
not through any effort of his own have exchanged it 
for a true one. All idolatries alike, though not all in 
equal degrees, by intercepting the idea of God through 
the prism of some representative creature that partially 
resembles God, refract, splinter, and distort that idea, 
so that idolatry is not merely one of many evils, and 
one utterly beyond the power of social institutions 
to redress, but in fact it is the fountain of all other 
evil, that seriously menaces the destiny of the human 
race." The great importance of this is evident. 
Men who do not wish to believe all that is written 
in the Bible select a few things from the Bible which 
they like, and then give themselves the appearance 
as if they had found out these great truths by their 
own reason, or from the intuitions of their own mind ; 
whereas they would never have known that there is 
a God who has created the heavens and the earth, 
except through the revelation which God gave to 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And not merely would 
they not have known that there is one Godhead, — • 
important as this is, it is not of the chief importance; 
— some philosophers have supposed that there could 



3i8 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

be only one supreme cause of all things ; but that 
is not God. To believe in a Godhead and in a 
supreme being, is not to believe in God. I may 
see the beautiful pictures and sculptures which 
some great artist has produced, but I do not know 
him. The little child that plays with him knows 
him as his father — knows his person, knows his 
countenance, knows his love. Of what use is that 
abstraction of Deity which the philosophers possess ? 
Canon Mozley says : " The vulgar among the heathen 
believed in many gods ; the philosopher believed 
in a universal cause ; but neither believed in God. 
It is perfectly evident — I cannot understand how 
people can read the Bible and not see it, but they 
do not. The vulgar believed in many gods ; the 
philosopher believed in a universal cause ; but neither 
believed in God. The philosopher only regarded the 
universal cause, as the spring of the universal machine, 
which was necessary to the working of all parts, but 
was not thereby raised to a separate order of being 
from them. Theism was discussed as a philosophical, 
not as a religious question. Nothing could have 
astonished him more than, when he had proved in 
the lecture-hall the existence of a God, to have been 
told to worship Him. ' Worship Him,' he would 
have answered ; ' worship what ? ' Would you picture 
him indignant at the polytheistic superstition of the 
crowd, and manifesting some spark of the fire of 
St. Paul, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry? 
You could not have been more mistaken. He would 
have said that you did not see a plain distinction. 
The crowd was right on the religious question ; the 
philosopher right on the philosophical. However 
men may uphold in argument an infinite abstraction. 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LA IF 319 

they could not worship it. The hearer was much 
better fitted for worship than a universal cause — 
fitted for it not in spite of, but in consequence of his 
want of true divinity. The supreme being among the 
Brahmins was a characterless impersonal essence, a 
mere residuum of intellectual analysis. No temple was 
raised to him, no knee was bended to him ; without 
action, without will, without affection, without thought, 
he was a substratum of everything himself — a nothing. 
Thus the idea of God was far from calling forth in 
the ancient world the idea of worship. It ever stood 
in antagonism with it. One simple nation alone 
of antiquity worshipped God, believed the universal 
being to be a personal being — God." And while 
Israel knew God and knew His name, they were 
opposed to all idolatry, and as we have seen before, 
Nebuchadnezzar and Darius and Cyrus, and many 
of the Gentile nations, were taught by them the idea 
of God ; and since Israel has forsaken God, and His 
own proper name of God, with which to go out into 
the world, but only prides itself in the idea of the 
unity of God, which sinks back again into the philo- 
sophical idea of an abstraction, they have done 
nothing to disturb the idolater and to convert the 
heathen nations. But we Christians who believe in 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and who have the 
name of Jesus standing out as a personal name, even 
as Israel of old had the name of Jehovah — we have 
gone forth, and many have turned from idols to serve 
the true and living God, and to wait for the coming 
of the Lord Jesus from heaven. 

Now this God brought Israel out of Egypt and 
there they were before Him, at Mount Sinai ; and 
this God was holy, and yet He was their covenant 



320 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

God. What is holiness ? Holiness can only be under- 
stood by what Scripture teaches us of it. All other 
ideas must give way, and we must be perfectly silent 
to hear the voice of God. Holiness has generally 
been explained as the love of that which is good, 
and the hatred of that which is evil. But that is 
not holiness ; it is a consequence of holiness ; it is a 
manifestation of holiness ; but holiness does not con- 
sist in this. The holiness of God, as it is revealed 
to us in Scripture, seems to me to be this. It is not 
one of many attributes, but it is that, out of which all 
the attributes of God flow, and in which they all are 
connected. God is holy ; He only is holy ; and the 
holiness of God is, so to speak, the infinite self- 
containedness of God, that He is Himself and nothing 
else, that in Himself there is all that is infinitely 
pleasing to Him, that He is sovereign, majestic ; and 
as this holiness of God consists in there being nothing 
and none, with whom God can be compared, and unto 
whom we can liken Him, the brightness of God, the 
majesty and transcendence of God above all things 
and above all persons, so this holiness has two 
aspects. In one aspect it removes God to an infinite 
distance from all that is creaturely, and therefore 
it is that which appears to be what prevents us 
from drawing near to Him, — for, according to that 
holiness of God, God is of purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity ; and as He is God of life, death, — and every- 
thing that leads to death is impure in His sight, and 
cannot appear before Him, so that the guilty, and 
those that are under the sentence of death from their 
birth onwards, are separated from God. But just as 
the life of God, in one aspect, is a consuming fire 
against everything that is opposed to God, in another 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 321 

aspect, like the light, although it cannot bear that 
anything should touch it that is not light, — it is es- 
sentially communicated. Thus it is the holiness of 
God which comes into the hearts of people to bring 
them into closest communion with Himself 

Therefore we find this double aspect of holiness — 
Holy, holy, holy. Lord God of Hosts, not to abide 
alone : " Heaven and earth are full of thy glory." 
Glory is holiness manifested ; holiness is glory con- 
cealed. Isaiah trembles because he is a man of 
unclean lips, and dwelling among a people of unclean 
lips. It is the Holy One who sends him forth. He 
is the Holy One of Israel, not to condemn Israel : 
" The Holy One of Israel, and thy Redeemer," there- 
fore the holiness of God has this double aspect — God 
is God. Sin and death cannot appear before God. 
But just because God is God, therefore He is able to 
sanctify a people unto Himself; and how does God 
make anything holy ? Simply by His bringing it 
near to Himself. It is not by any inherent quality 
that He infuses into a person or into a place. Wher- 
ever God chooses to manifest Himself that ground is 
holy ; and whatever sinners God chooses to bring 
near to Himself, from that moment they are holy. So 
was the thief on the cross holy, the moment he said 
" Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." 
By bringing them unto Himself, God constitutes them 
holy. But Israel was a sinful nation, as we all are 
sinful, but God said " They are my nation, a kingdom 
of priests unto me, a holy nation. I have separated 
them unto myself." 

But what is now that covenant that God initiated 
upon Mount Sinai ? Is it a covenant of works ? Is 
it a law, in its aspect of condemnation and of curse ? 

Y 



DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 



In one respect it is. That was only a very limited, 
secondary and, if I may so speak, negative attribute 
of the dispensation, which commenced upon Mount 
Sinai. Only think of it. The unconditional cove- 
nant which was made with Noah, and of which the 
rainbow is the sign ; the unconditional covenant 
which was made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
and of which circumcision is the seal, could never be 
frustrated by anything which should happen subse- 
quently, as the giving of the law on Mount Sinai 
400 years after, and the dispensation which fol- 
lowed from it. God by an oath had sworn unto 
Abraham, that He would be his God and the God of 
his descendants, and that He would give them the 
land, and that He would give them the Messiah. This 
oath could not have been frustrated, could not have 
been modified, could not have been put aside, by that 
which God is now going to reveal to them. This 
is the first reason. 

Second reason. If it was a covenant of works, — 
on condition of Israel's disobedience God would reject 
them, and on that of Israel's obedience God would 
befriend them ; then, when Israel made a golden calf 
and worshipped it, the history of Israel ought to have 
ceased. The covenant was broken. God had no 
longer anything to do with them. But so far from 
this being the case, God returns again to this promise, 
" I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." The 
history of redemption commenced. The covenant 
with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is dear to the heart 
of God, and the only hope of His people, — it flows 
on, a river of mercy, with as great vitality and fulness 
as it ever possessed before. 

The third reason. A covenant of works, with 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LA W 323 

death, curse, condemnation ? Yes, it is perfectly true, 
but why is it that God again reveals all His name ? 
" The Lord God, gracious, merciful, slow to anger, 
plenteous in redemption." Why is it that in that law 
God gives them priests — gives them a tabernacle and 
gives them sacrifice ? God says, I will forgive your 
sins and I will make you draw near to me. How is 
it that none of the prophets ever for a single moment 
thought that the covenant with Abraham had been 
set aside, or that they were living under the curse, 
or that they did not know the grace of God, — 
God forgiving and God sanctifying them ? It was 
necessary that it should be made plain to Israel that 
the law had this aspect : " You are all guilty in the 
sight of God, and if I were to deal with you accord- 
ing to that which is required by the corresponding 
part on your side to the law, I should have nothing 
more to do with you. You depend entirely upon 
sovereign mercy, upon grace." The law itself thus 
mocks, so to speak, at its own utter insufficiency, and 
points us to that covenant of grace which is rooted 
in the eternal love of God. It was with the Jews, 
as it is with you. Every man that is not converted 
is under the law, and under the curse of the law, 
although this is a gospel dispensation. Else why 
do you need to say " God be merciful to me a sinner," 
and " What shall I do to be saved " ; and what under- 
standing have you of the new covenant unless you 
know that you are transgressors, and transgressors of 
what ? Transgressors of the law of God. There 
were the wicked and the worldly, and the law was a 
testimony to them and bridled them, and was a hedge 
round them lest they should go on to worse, and it 
warned them that they might be led if, possible, to 



324 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

repentance. There were the people whom our blessed 
Saviour describes, " Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
blessed are they that mourn, blessed are the meek, 
blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteous- 
ness." There were Zachariah and Elizabeth. They 
were righteous before God, walking in all the ordin- 
ances and commandments of the Lord — blameless. 
Do you think that Zachariah and Elizabeth thought 
that they were justified by the works of the law ? 
They were righteous before the Lord in the way in 
which any sinner can be righteous — in the way in 
which Abraham was righteous before the Lord, and 
in the way in which all Christians are righteous before 
the Lord, because they believed the Word which He 
had given to them ; and therefore because they waited 
for the redemption, they walked in the ordinances 
and commandments of the Lord. And then there 
were the Pharisees and the self-righteous, as Saul 
of Tarsus, who did not understand the spirituality of 
the law — who went about to establish a righteousness 
of their own, by the works of the law — who did not 
see that the law was spiritual, and that neither 
righteousness nor life could come by the law. The 
aspect of Jesus on his appearing to Saul crushed 
him — revealed to him the whole splendour of the 
law, and the insufficiency of the law, and he cried 
out for a Redeemer. 

To make this still plainer, it is the covenant of 
works, it is the dispensation of law, but only on 
the outside, and only as to the shell, — not as to 
the kernel, God says to Jerusalem : — I will make a 
covenant with you, not as the first covenant was 
when I gave you my law, and you transgressed it, 
when I was a husband unto Israel. God always 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 325 

was a husband unto Israel during the whole period. 
" Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement ? " 
Israel went away from God, but God never said 
" I give thee up." He was always the covenant 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or as we say 
" The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
according as he has chosen us in him before the 
foundation of the world." 

So the covenant with David. Take the covenant 
that God made with David, 2nd book of Samuel, 
7th chapter. God made a covenant with David — 
" The sure mercies of David," — a covenant which 
was ordered, in all things perfect, the covenant 
upon which salvation depends, — and that also was 
conditional. He said, " If thy sons walk in my 
ways I will bless them and be with them. If they 
transgress I will chastise them. According to the 
work side of the covenant, the conditional side of the 
covenant " — where is the house of David ? Were 
not the last occupants of the throne of David led 
into the captivity ? And for more than 400 years 
before Jesus came, was there any one sitting upon the 
throne of his father David } Then did it come to 
nought ? Yes, it came to nought, as everything was 
a dead failure, and must be a dead failure, under any 
conditional covenant and under the law. But the 
covenant with David could not come to nought, for 
Jesus is the son of David, and the title-deeds of 
Palestine are now at the right hand of the majesty 
of God. In Jesus the covenant is fulfilled, and thus 
it is that the glory of God in Jesus shines through 
the whole of that law, which God gave to Israel. 

Let us look now at the law, the law which God 
gave to His people — a theocracy in which God is 



326 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

the king, Israel is the nation, Palestine is the land. 
There must be a law. Oh what a blessed 'thing it is 
that there is a divine law. Not the opinion of the 
majority. Majority ? — if wisdom characterised human 
beings, or goodness characterised human beings, then 
we might have some faith in what the majority says. 
God gives the law, His eternal law, a blessed law, a 
perfect law. The whole authority of the law eman- 
ates from Himself, and it is to teach all the nations 
of the world, — to show to them — what God's idea 
of a nation is, and what government is. All experi- 
ments that are made in politics and in social science 
— containing as they do exceedingly great and ex- 
ceedingly tender problems — will fail ; and at last 
it will be seen that the true principles of national 
existence are contained in the five books of Moses. 

This law is usually divided into moral, ceremonial, 
and political ; but this division, although there is an 
clement of truth in it, does a good deal of mischief in 
diverting the attention of people from what is really 
the character of the law. As James says in his epistle, 
'* The law is one : you cannot divide it " ; and for 
the simple reason that there is one law-giver — that is 
God ; and therefore whether God says " Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour," or whether He says that you are 
not to do this thing and not to do the other thing, it 
is the same God that gives the law. The same life 
animates the whole. It is an organism, and as for 
calling one part of the law moral law, the expression 
moral is entirely inadequate, for it is not morality 
that is taught in the ten commandments ; — it is our 
relation to God. It is not that we are to love the 
true, the good, and the beautiful — a neuter thing — but 
we are to love God. We should not find this out 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 327 

by our unassisted reason and conscience. But here it 
is the first table of the law — what God is, what God is 
to us, and how we are to stand in Him and in our 
love to Him. Therefore to call it moral law is to lead 
away from that which is the very glory of the law. 
Oh how majestic it is to read the beginning of these 
ten commandments and the expression of the pro- 
mises " Unto thousands of generations of them that 
love me and keep my commandments." You re- 
member the gentle voice in that little upper chamber 
in Jerusalem that said " If ye love me keep my com- 
mandments," — that is the voice of Jehovah. No other 
being — angel or man — no other could say, " The root 
of all that is pleasing to God is that you have 
affection for me personally " ; and no other has a 
right to give commandments but God. 

Then, again, as to the ceremonial law. People 
imagine by " ceremonial " something to strike the 
senses, something to add pomp and beauty to 
services, something in which there is no reality. 
There were no ceremonies in Israel. It was all 
the preaching of eternal truths and of spiritual 
substances, and real transactions between God and 
the people. This ceremonial law, as it is called, 
contains the most sublime and touching aspect of 
the will of God : " Whether ye eat or drink or 
whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." 
God wishes to have communion with people in their 
daily business, in their seed-time, and in their 
harvest, in all the relationships of their earthly life. 

And as for the national law, it is only the expres- 
sion, and the application to the nation of Israel, of 
the ideas and truths and relationships, expressed in 
the spiritual law and in the preparatory evangelical 



328 DEEP sr J RITUAL MEANING 

law, which God had given to His people. But 
all this does not preclude me from acknowledging 
that the ten commandments, spoken by God Him- 
self and written by God Himself, stand as it were 
on a majestic height. They are, so to speak, the 
face of the law ; and as you see the intelligence and 
the affection of a man in his countenance, so the 
whole law of God shows its face to us, in those ten 
words which the Lord spoke. Now see the covenant 
of works — or, rather, do not see the covenant of works, 
for you will not be able to see it. " I am the Lord " 
— that is the holiness of God, Jehovah. Six thousand 
times the name of Jehovah is mentioned in the Old 
Testament, and the name Elohim, which describes God 
the Creator, only 2500 times. 'T am Jehovah" — that 
is the holiness of God. " I am the Lord thy God " — 
that is the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob : 
and you are His children. And as God gives Himself 
to the people as their God, He thereby sanctifies 
the people and draws them up to Himself And 
lest any one should imagine that this is based simply 
upon the relation of God as a creator to His creatures, 
or the universal fatherhood of God, He says, " I am 
Jehovah, thy God," according to the election of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, " which brought thee 
out of the land of Egypt." The blood of the 
covenant — that is the foundation upon which the 
whole ten commandments rest. That is the most 
precious part of the ten commandments. Let 
nobody speak of the ten commandments, unless 
he understands this verse. To take away this verse 
is to take away the glory, the diadem, the head, 
the heart of the ten commandments. And this verse 
is the gospel and nothing but the gospel. And 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LA W 329 

because this is God, holy covenant God, redeemer 
God, they were to have no other god — thou shalt 
have no other gods beside me ; and not merely 
have no other gods beside me, but this very idea 
of God which has been revealed to us is not to 
be formulated or illustrated or shaped according to 
the imagination of our hearts, or, as De Ouincey 
says, brought down to a lower level ; and this law 
which forbids us to make any image of God is the 
"divine right" of Puritanism, that man has no 
right to invent ceremonies or methods of his own 
whereby to worship God. God stands by Himself 
and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth ; 
and since God in His wonderful love has made 
Himself known to us, — like the artist and sculptor 
of whom I spoke who is known to his little child, 
who may not even have seen any of his pictures 
or any of his statues, — so that we know the name 
of God, as we know now the blessed name of Jesus, — 
you must keep this name of God separate from 
all your ideas and the desires of your hearts, and 
the manners and customs of the world, and walk 
in the name of the Lord only. And being thus 
with God, God in His great mercy says, " Come 
unto me all ye weary and heavy-laden ones, and 
I will give you rest"; I will make you partakers of 
my rest, and I will give you as a sign of that, the 
Sabbath day, and you shall rest in me, and know 
that, notwithstanding all the toils and troubles and 
afflictions of this earthly life, you are not a beast of 
burden merely ; and you are not only to work for 
meat that perisheth, but I myself am your portion, 
and you will become a source of rest and blessing 
to your wife, and to your son, and to your daughter, 



330 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

and to your manservant, and to your maidservant, 
and even to your horses and to all your cattle. It 
was the idea of God to make His people happy 
before Him, so that under the law of Moses there 
were very few fast days, but a great number of 
feast days, in which the people were to rejoice 
before the Lord God in the beautiful harvest, and 
in all the bounties, with which He had surrounded 
them. And as they are to be a nation upon the 
earth, — His representatives here upon earth, — He 
has put His crown upon all fathers and mothers, as 
being His representatives, and therefore He says 
" Honour thy father and thy mother," which is the 
foundation of all national prosperity, and which 
includes also all reverence for authorities and 
governments, which the Lord in His providence 
establishes. And then He comes to the relation of 
man to man, and there He passes from the outward 
to the inward — commanding us to love our neighbour 
as ourself! doing him no injury by act, doing him 
no injury by word, doing him no injury in the most 
inward recesses of our hearts: "Thou shalt love him." 
This is the law that God gave, and, like God, there 
is nothing to compare with it. Oh that it were 
taught in all our families ! oh that it were taught in 
all our schools ! and that it were taught everywhere, 
where there are human beings walking upon the face 
of the earth, for the law is spiritual. Moses sums 
up the law, and Jesus sums up the law, but Jesus 
makes one beautiful reflection. He says the first 
commandment must necessarily be love to God. 
The other is second, but He does not like to put 
it even second because, if it is second, it might be 
separated perhaps from the first. Jesus Christ is so 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 331 

anxious to show that the first table of the law and 
the second table of the law are inseparably connected 
that He says the other is second, but " like unto it." 
And the whole ist epistle of John is only an ex- 
position of this — that love to God and love to man 
go hand in hand together, not as Cain was, who 
hated his brother Abel ; and wherefore did he hate 
him ? because he hated God ; for if he had loved 
God, he would have loved Abel also. 

But take a higher view of the ten commandments. 
The ten commandments, I have said, were the face 
of the law, the countenance of the law ; but I am 
bold enough to say that the ten commandments 
are the very countenance of God Himself. God is 
Spirit. " Thou shalt not make thyself any graven 
image, thou shalt hallow the name of God " ; " God is 
light and truth " ; " Thou desirest truth in the inward 
parts"; "Cleanse thou me from secret faults"; " Thou 
shalt not covet." And the hallowing of the name 
of God corresponds also with this — that God is 
light and God is truth. 

And lastly, God is love. ^ And what is the second 
table of the law but this, that God is the Father of 
the large family, and that the children are to love 
one another and to treat one another, according to 
the character of God Himself. And therefore, when 
our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ has spoken of the 
righteousness, there is no other righteousness but 
that righteousness which is described in the ten 
commandments. When He dwelt upon the various 
commandments, — as Moses with the three elders 
that ascended up on high, even above the clouds 
and darkness of the Mount, and saw the God of 
Israel and the blue under his feet, and as the lark 



332 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

which soars up higher with her thrilHng melody, so 
Jesus Christ says unto us, "What is this law, but that 
ye may be the children of your Father which is in 
heaven." It is the image of the Father that you 
ought to see in this law : " Be ye therefore merciful 
and generous as your Father is merciful and generous. 
And be ye perfect as your Father which is in heaven 
is perfect." This was the law which God gave to 
His people. But as the Lord was holy, just, and 
good, and as Israel was sinful and guilty and polluted 
and under the sentence of death, how was it possible 
— what was the method by which it was possible — 
that there should be communion between God and 
the people ? And yet God, because He is holy, 
wished to draw this people into close communion 
with Himself. " I will dwell in the midst of them : 
I will be their God. I will dwell with them and 
they shall dwell in me." He wished to marry them. 
He wished to become one of them — to become one 
with them. What a contradiction is there here. 
God says, " Then I will be merciful, I will forgive 
all your sins ; I will bring you near to myself," and 
God forgives sins in such a way that He is the Holy 
One, and that nothing of what He has said against 
sin is cancelled, and that the connection between 
sin and the wrath of God, and sin and death and 
the curse, is only made clearer. Therefore He gives 
to Israel the sacrifices : " Without shedding of blood 
there is no remission of sin." God is a just God, and 
yet the justifier of the guilty. The feeling of the 
sinfulness of guilt and pollution is only deepened 
in the hearts of Israel, who receive the forgiveness 
of sin. Observe the language of the 51st Psalm. 
David had nothing but the law of Moses, to teach 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 333 

him the 51st Psalm; and in this 51st Psahn he 
says, " Have mercy upon me according to thy loving- 
kindness : according to the multitude of thy tender 
mercies blot out all my iniquities, for my sin is ever 
before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, 
that thou mightcst be justified when thou judgest. 
And not merely have I sinned, but I am altogether 
a mass of sin. My whole existence is sin. I was 
shapen in iniquity." The law had impressed upon 
him the 3rd chapter of Genesis, that we are ruined 
in the fall of Adam, and inherit this guilt which 
separates us from God. " Purge me with hyssop 
and I shall be clean" (the blood of Christ) ; "Wash me 
and I shall be whiter than snow " (the divine righteous- 
ness imputed to us). So you see the law did what God 
meant it to do, and lest Israel should imagine that God 
forgives sins — but that we must do our part and sanc- 
tify ourselves unto the Lord — lest there should be any 
such idea of co-operation in the mind of Israel, any such 
conditional salvation — oh, how was Israel continually 
taught : " I, even I, am He that sanctifies thee." For 
how can you explain in the Psalms the constant 
cry which rose out of Israel, " Incline my heart to 
keep thy commandments"; — then the heart was not 
inclined to keep the commandments of God. Read 
the 119th Psalm, and if there is any Pelagianism 
or Arminianism in you, it will be rooted up by the 
grace of God ; and although you often read in the 
Old Testament " Sanctify yourselves," that has only 
reference to this ceremonial cleansing and to outward 
bodily preparations for coming near to God. In the 
New Testament you never read about sanctifying 
yourselves, — for Christ is our sanctification, who by 
His blood has transplanted us out of the region of 



334 DEEP SPIRITUAL MEANING 

sin and death, and brought us into the region of 
righteousness and Hfe by God's electing love — by the 
power of the blood of Jesus and through the applica- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, — all which was shown in the 
law which God gave to Israel. Therefore God ap- 
pointed holy persons, priests, and holy places where 
He would reveal Himself and give to Israel His 
gifts, and enable Israel to bring to Him their gifts 
to the tabernacle. And He appointed holy times, 
festivals, in which all the various component parts 
of the divine dealings in redemption are broken up, 
as it were, into fragments, that they may be taught 
one aspect after another. Oh it was a wonderfully 
merciful dispensation. 

I must pass over this to say only one thing. 
With all its beauty, with all its glory, and with all 
its loving-kindness, the law was a failure. It made 
nothing perfect ; the people of Israel felt that all 
these were shadows. They all knew that the 
blood of beasts could not take away sins. They 
all knew that the sacrifices had to be repeated 
continually. They all knew that the day of atone- 
ment was only for one year, starting them as it 
were again, so that the communion between God and 
Israel might be kept up for another year. Therefore 
under the Old Testament, as the apostle teaches us 
in the Hebrews, the conscience was not made perfect 
concerning sin, and the forgiveness which they had, 
was, so to speak, only through the patience and for- 
bearance of God, waiting, as the apostle says in the 3rd 
chapter of the epistle to the Romans, until the blood, 
the real blood of Jesus Christ, was brought into the 
Holy of Holies. " The law made nothing perfect," and 
although the righteousness was not perfectly revealed 



OF THE DECALOGUE AND WHOLE LAW 335 

and appropriated under the law, yet all who believed 
were accepted of God, and beloved. So God, in 
the strict sense of the word, was not yet revealed 
in the Holy of Holies, where there was darkness, for 
God dwelleth in light unapproachable, and the very 
excess of that light makes it unapproachable, and 
the very excess of that light makes it darkness to man. 
Into that Holy of Holies the priests could not go, the 
Levites could not go, the people could not go, and 
the high priest could go only once a year, the Holy 
Ghost thus signifying that the way into the Holy of 
Holies had not yet been made manifest. Well might 
Philip say to our blessed Jesus, " Show us the Father 
and it sufficeth us " — that was the desire of Israel 
during all the preceding years — and Jesus said, " lie 
that hath seen me hath seen the Father " ; and the 
true tabernacle, the eternal sanctuary of God is above, 
and thus we read, " If any man sin we have an 
advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the 
righteous." And there was a third thing that was 
not given by the law. That was the indwelling of 
the Holy Ghost, for as the apostle Paul says, " If life 
could have been given by the law," it would not have 
been necessary for Jesus Christ to come, and to die. 
They were in the spirit of bondage, in the spirit of 
little children who were now under tutors and 
governors, but unto all who believe in Jesus, there 
is given the Holy Ghost as the indwelling spirit and 
comforter. Therefore in them is fulfilled the right- 
eousness of the law, who walk not after the flesh but 
after the spirit. And to conclude, what applies to 
the law in order to obtain righteousness or the know- 
ledge of God, or the possession of the Holy Ghost, 
applies to everything else in connection with Israel ; 



336 SPIRITUAL MEANING OF DECALOGUE, ETC. 

for what the law could not do in that it was weakened 
through the flesh, God Himself must do. Where is 
the land which God gave unto Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob ? Is it not trodden down under foot of the 
Gentiles ? And has not God promised it to them, 
and has not God given to them this law on purpose 
that they might enjoy the land, and He would make 
it a fruitful and lovely land, where every man could 
sit under his own fig-tree and rejoice in the bounty 
of the Lord his God ? They have not got it. Why 
have they not got it? What the law could not do 
in that it was weakened through the flesh, must be 
left to Jesus to accomplish. And so, as to the whole 
history of the Old Testament, you may write upon 
it that it is a failure, because it was weakened 
through the flesh. But you may write upon it that 
it is yea and amen in Christ Jesus, who is the Alpha 
and the Omega, the root and the offspring of David, 
the son of Abraham, and yet the I Am, before Abra- 
ham. Oh that the Lord would hasten the day when 
there will be no agnostics, but when " all flesh shall 
know that I am the Lord," when the glory tran- 
scendent of the new covenant will show us the 
faithfulness and grace of God manifested to Israel. 
Amen. 



XVI 

THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO REVEAL 
VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 

The object of God's revealing Himself — Worship — The tribe of Levi— 
The priests — Their office — The high -priest — Anointed as sym- 
bolising Messiah in his priestly functions of sacrifice and interces- 
sion — The blessing of the sons of Aaron — Its full gospel meaning 
— The special place of worship pre-figuring the heavenly sanctuary 
— The tabernacle — The times represented l)y the number seven 
— The festivals — The national law based on the sanctities of family 
life — Perfect justice — Respect to the liberties and rights of the 
people — Regard for the poor and the stranger — Tenure of land 
— Moses the Mediator — In so many things, he foreshadowed Christ 
and the Gospel. 

I MUST say at the beginning that I am obh'ged, 
very reluctantly, to give up my intention of speaking 
at present on the course of prophecy, which had 
its starting-point in David. As there were so many 
points with regard to Moses, which I was not able 
to bring before you in the last lecture, I must limit 
myself to concluding the remarks, which I made 
upon Moses and the dispensation that was entrusted 
to him. 

The object of God's revealing Himself is worship. 
God reveals Himself to man in order that man may 
worship Him. God comes to man in order that man 
may come to God. God reveals Himself to us as a 
holy God. God reveals to us what man is, in order 

Z 



338 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHO]VN TO 

that He may show us the wonderful solution of this 
problem : — How there can be communion between 
God and man in the person of His own Son, who is 
God and man in one person, and who bringeth .us 
unto the Father. He had chosen Israel to be His 
nation, a nation of priests. They were " holy unto 
the Lord." And yet, as in themselves they were full 
of sin, and under the sentence of death, He gave 
them the law in order to show that sin was 
exceedingly sinful, and that in His presence neither 
sin nor death was able to stand. And thus the 
whole life of the Israelite, from his birth to his death, 
was concluded under sin, and he was continually 
reminded, by the purifications and sacrifices which 
he had to offer, that all that was connected with 
himself and with his earthly life was polluted by sin, 
and required the grace of God and the propitiation 
of a mediator, in order that it might be no hindrance 
or obstacle to his having communion with God. - 

But although the whole nation was in that way 
" Holiness unto the Lord," yet it pleased God out of 
that nation to select for Himself one tribe, to be as it 
were the representative of the nation ; although every- 
thing that was said of the tribe of Levi, when Korah 
rebelled against their priority, may be said of all 
Israel : " On the morrow ye shall know who is mine, 
and who is holy, and whom I have chosen, that he 
may draw near unto God " ; yet it was necessary 
that this special tribe should be to Israel a type and 
illustration of what was meant by holiness, and of 
what the purposes of God were concerning them. 
They stood before God, drawing near unto Him, and 
in this way representing the whole nation that was 
to be brought into His presence. It was they who 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 339 

offered the sacrifices and offerings unto the Lord ; 
it was they who by incense showed, that the prayers 
and supplications of the whole nation of Israel could 
only ascend unto God through holiness, and it was 
through them, that the blessing of the Most High 
was pronounced upon His people. When we think 
of the priests and Levites as they were among Israel, 
we must look away altogether from the abuses which 
afterwards crept in among Israel, and in a still worse 
way, into the medijeval Church. In the first place, 
the priests that were in Israel had no political power. 
Their position, and the way in which they were 
sustained, precluded them from exercising any undue 
influence over the course of the nation. They were 
not like a priestly caste as we find it among other 
nations, nor did they exert that influence which 
afterwards, in the days of our Lord, the hierarchy in 
Palestine exercised over the nation. Another thing 
to be remarked about them was this — they did not 
appoint themselves, nor did the people appoint them, 
but God appointed them. And it was they who 
were descended from Aaron, who belonged to the 
tribe of Levi, who by reason of their birth were ap- 
pointed to represent the whole nation, and especially 
the first born of the nation, unto God. Nor had they 
any power to develop the law. There was nothing 
in the form of tradition, there was nothing in the 
form of teaching and developing power, given to them. 
On the contrary, it was their duty to guard the law 
that nothing should be added to it, and that nothing 
should be taken away from it. And lastly — not as 
was the case in the mediaeval Church, and is still 
the case in the Church of Rome — ^was the relation 
between the individual conscience and God in any 



340 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

wise interfered with, by the existence of the Levites 
and priesthood. They were not father confessors. It 
was the individual himself who, of his own accord and 
according to his own ability, confessed his sins and 
laid his hands upon the sacrifice. The priest in no 
wise interfered with the conscientious difficulties, and 
with the soul troubles of the people that came to 
him. It was for him only to carry out the regulations, 
which were laid down in the books of Moses, for it 
was deeply impressed upon Israel that although there 
were priests and Levites, yet it was only, so to speak, 
a sad necessity that led to this, — and that the whole 
nation was a nation of priests unto the Lord. 

But in this priesthood we find that there was one 
who was distinct above his brethren. He was called 
the " High-Priest," or, according to the original in 
one passage, the priest that is greater than his 
brethren, and upon whose head is the anointing oil. 
Although there was anointing connected with the 
induction of all the priests and Levites, yet it is 
most emphatically said of this one priest who is 
greater than his brethren, that the anointing oil was 
upon his head, or, in other words, that he was re- 
presentative of Messiah. And it was the prerogative, 
and the prerogative of the high-priest alone, that on 
the day of atonement he was allowed to enter into 
the Holy of Holies, and there to apply the blood of 
propitiation unto the mercy- seat, or the lid which 
covered the ark of the covenant, thus showing 
that the whole glory of the priesthood and the 
whole glory of Israel consisted in this — that through 
atonement they were finally to be brought before 
the very face of the Most High, there to be ac- 
cepted by Him, and regarded with His good pleasure. 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 341 

And here is a remarkable point, which shows the 
imperfection of mere individual types, all of which 
have to be combined, in order to give us an approxi- 
mate idea of the fulness that is in Christ, Sacrifices 
and offerings and all the services, which were offered 
unto the Lord on behalf of His people, were not 
sufficient to effect communion between God and 
them. It was necessary that there should be a 
person who represented Israel before God, and here 
comes in again that idea which at first sight appears 
so strange to us, but which runs through all the 
dealings of God with man — the idea of a federal 
representative, — of one who represents a multitude. 
So Adam represented the whole human race, and 
so Aaron represented the whole nation of Israel. 
When God is pleased with Aaron, He is pleased 
with the whole nation. This man Aaron is in the 
sight of God, Israel. Upon his forehead is written 
" Holiness unto the Lord." And not merely does 
he represent Israel in that he brings the blood of 
propitiation into the Holy of Holies, but all Israel's 
holy things are full of defilement and pollution ; 
their prayers, their sacrifices, their offerings, their 
services, would altogether be in vain, unless there 
was this one man to bring them before the Lord, 
and to make intercession on behalf of them, and 
on behalf of the sins of their holy things. What a 
wonderful thing it is, then, that although all Israel 
was holy unto the Lord, because God had chosen 
them to be His, and that although the first born of 
Israel belonged unto the Lord, instead of whom 
stood the priests and the Levites ; and although 
there were sacrifices of every kind and description, 
all showing forth the various aspects of our being 



342 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

brought near to God, yet in this one man stood all 
Israel ; — the forgiveness of their sins, the acceptance 
of theic offerings, their justification, and their sancti- 
fication were all vested in this one man. 

There is another idea connected with the priest- 
hood, and especially with the high - priest, which is 
of great importance, and it is this : God is holy, 
and that which cannot stand before a holy God is 
twofold — namely sin and death. Sin and every- 
thing pertaining to it, death and everything leading 
up to it : these two are excluded from the presence 
of God, for God is the living One and God is of 
purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and both these 
ideas are included in that which includes everything, 
namely, that God is holy, or God is God. Therefore 
the priest was never allowed to come into contact with 
death. He was the representative of life. Death 
did not exist for him, — in so far as he was a priest. 
And this is the beautiful symbol and sign which 
God gave to Israel — that Aaron's rod budded and 
brought forth blossoms and almonds — for what we 
want is righteousness, and what we want is life ; 
and the law, because it is weakened by the flesh, 
can neither give us righteousness nor can it give us 
life ; but there is righteousness and there is life, not 
in any sacrifices, not in any services, though they 
also adumbrate Jesus Christ, but in a person — in the 
great priest — in Jesus Christ who is called the priest 
after the power of an endless life. There is only one 
other point, and I must pass on from these holy persons. 
As representatives of the nation and as the types of 
our Saviour Jesus, they had to bring the blessings 
of God to His people. God alone can bless us, and 
the blessing of God includes everything that God, in 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 343 

His sovereignty and in His covenant love, intends to 
give to His people. And that remarkable blessing 
that the sons of Aaron pronounced upon the congre- 
gation of Israel is a summary of all God's teachings 
and of all God's promises. The doctrine of the 
blessed Trinity can be clearly seen in it by us, and, 
to a certain extent, must have been understood by 
the children of Israel, who continually heard that 
benediction, and rested in it. God, in so far as He 
is incomprehensible and infinite, the hidden source 
of all blessing and of all preservation, is the Father. 
The Father hath blessed us with all spiritual 
blessings in heavenly places, and it is the Father 
also who keeps us holy. " Father, keep through 
thine own name those whom thou hast given me." 
And everything that can be seen of God is mani- 
fested in the Son, who is the countenance of God. 
Therefore the second part of the blessing proceeds 
"The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be 
gracious unto thee " in that manifestation of himself, 
which is in Christ Jesus. But all that is in God 
incomprehensible and hidden, and all that is in God, 
manifested and through propitiation purchased for 
us, cannot be appropriated, unless it be by the power 
of the Holy Ghost. Therefore we have here God 
again, Jehovah, lifting up the light of His countenance, 
and so applying it to the mind and conscience that 
we may have peace. This was the wonderful bene- 
diction which the sons of Aaron in God's name pro- 
nounced upon the people, and this is the only trace 
that I can discover in the Old Testament of anything 
like a fixed form, that was to be used in the services 
of God. The prayers of the people, the prayers of the 
priests, the intercession of the high-priest, were not 



344 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

trammelled by any fixed form of words, but, were ex- 
pressed as the Spirit gave them utterance ; thus they 
poured out the desires of their hearts before the Lord ; 
but what God wished to give to His people — the 
covenant revelation and blessings of His infinite love 
— was given to the people by the words chosen by 
the Holy Ghost — to be to Israel a never-ending and 
inexhaustible source of strength and of consolation. 

As there were holy men set apart, although all 
Israel was holy, so there was a place set apart in 
which God and His people were to meet, where 
God manifested His glory, where He bestowed upon 
Israel the blessings of forgiveness, acceptance, and all 
that was necessary for their spiritual life, and where 
God also enabled Israel of His own to give back to 
Him again. The gifts which He bestows are changed 
into gifts, which Israel offers again unto the Lord. 

You know from reading the whole Old Testa- 
ment that Israel never entertained any superstitious 
idea that God could not be worshipped everywhere. 
" From the utmost corner of the land will I cry unto 
Thee." Wherever God manifests Himself there is 
holy ground. When the manifestation of God is at 
an end, the holiness of the ground is also at an end. 
But quite in consistency with this idea, God wished 
to show to Israel that there was only one mode of 
worshipping Him, and wished also to pre-figure that 
great meeting-place, where God and His people will be 
united together for ever, in Christ Jesus our Saviour. 
It is impossible for me to say more than what may 
just serve to remind you of this wonderful tabernacle, 
which is explained to some extent in the epistle to 
the Hebrews, but which every Christian, more or less, 
through the light of the New Testament teaching, is 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 345 

able to explain to himself. Thirteen chapters are de- 
voted to the description of the temple, whereas scarcely 
two chapters are devoted to the narration of the crea- 
tion of the world. For this purpose was the whole 
world prepared — that God and His people should be 
united together, and that there should be glory to 
God, through the pardon and sanctification of a people 
whom He has chosen unto Himself In the outer 
court, where the people were allowed to come, we 
have Christ manifested, as our substitution and as our 
atonement. There, stood the brazen altar upon which 
the sacrifices were brought into the holy place, where 
the priests served. There, was the candlestick with 
seven branches. There, was the table with the 
twelve loaves of the hallowed bread. There, was 
the golden altar of incense. In the Holy of Holies 
there was always darkness, but there was the ark of 
the covenant, for everything was based upon the 
covenant which was made with Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob. And as the great treasure and jewel of that 
covenant — inside the ark — there was the law of 
God ; and since Israel was a transgressor of the law 
of God, there was the mercy-seat or the lid which was 
sprinkled with the blood. And since in Israel, as 
afterwards in the Church, there was to be shown, to 
the powers and principalities, the wonderful depth of 
the love of God and the end and purpose of all crea- 
tion, there were the cherubim, as the representatives 
of God's creative glory, who desired to look into this 
mystery. The light which was in the holy place 
was in reality the manifestation of that light which 
could not be seen on account of its great brightness, 
and that light is none other but Christ ; and at the 
same time that lisrht is also in believers who in 



346 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

Christ Jesus are light unto the Lord, even as Israel 
in Jehovah was a light unto the Gentiles. The 
bread which was upon the table in one aspect was the 
bread which God gave unto the twelve tribes, it was 
the bread which came down from heaven, in which 
the countenance of God was manifested ; but on the 
other hand, it was also the bread which the twelve 
tribes offered unto God, working for bread which 
should not perish, bringing forth that which in the 
sight of God was regarded as the true bread, and thus 
satisfied Him, because it was the life of His people. 
And so was the golden altar of incense a representa- 
tion of the prayer that is acceptable to God — both 
the prayer of Christ and the prayer of all who are 
Christ's, who only in Him and with Him are able to 
offer up their petitions to the Father. The difficulty 
of explaining the tabernacle is this — that God in His 
wonderful wisdom has combined so many things by 
this one illustration, for the primary fulfilment is in 
Christ who was the tabernacle. " The Word was 
made flesh and tabernacled among us." " Destroy 
the temple and I will build it again ; this spake he 
of his body." And in this temple there were two 
things that there were in the tabernacle — the glory 
of God revealing Himself, and Jesus in His humanity 
giving to God all that man can give to God, that is 
well pleasing to the Father, And if even this ap- 
plication already contains such a number of elements 
and aspects that we can only profitably meditate, 
so to speak, superficially on them, the riches and 
abundance of the teaching of the tabernacle appear 
still more, when we go on to say that the fulfilment 
of the tabernacle is not in Christ alone, but that it is 
in Christ in union with His people — that in Christ 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 347 

both God and man meet, God showing Himself to 
us. and God giving in Christ all that we need, light 
and bread and the power of prayer, after having been 
reconciled to us by the blood of Christ, — and we 
offering up to God in Christ all the offerings that 
are pleasing to Him, and being a light before God, 
and showing to God that the purposes of His grace 
are fulfilled in us, through the indwelling of the Spirit. 
And so everything in this tabernacle was intended 
to teach, — for it was not as sanctuaries of other 
nations, built according to the ingenuity and wisdom 
of man, but it was built according to the pattern 
which God showed to Moses in the Mount. Moses 
was only carrying out the idea of God, and all the 
men that were engaged in preparing the tabernacle 
were fitted and sustained by the Holy Ghost, in 
doing this great work. So there is nothing in this 
tabernacle that does not teach us. Even in the 
metal that is used — where brass is used and where 
gold is used — there is always a spiritual meaning. 
And so with even the colours which occur and the 
order in which the colours occur, for they are always 
in the same order. There is the blue, and there is the 
purple, and there is the scarlet, and the white, the white 
either before the three or after the three, but always 
in this order, — the Holy Ghost by all this symbolis- 
ing what is reality and substance in Christ Jesus. 

I hasten on to the third holy thing represented 
— holy times. Here we must notice the times 
which are represented by the number seven — the 
seventh day, the seventh month of the year, which 
was the beginning of the civil year, the seventh year, 
and the seven times seventh year, or the fiftieth. And 
in all these festivals the same idea is represented. 



348 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

namely, that, notwithstanding, that this world is under 
sin, and under the chastening government of God, 
it is the wish of God that in all our affliction, and in 
all our trouble, and in all our labour, we should always 
return to Him and find in Him our rest and our joy — 
and therefore the burden and the toil are ameliorated, 
the deeds are cancelled and released. The property 
in the fiftieth year . returns to the original owner, 
God showing to us in all things that although we 
are here upon earth, and although we are a sinful and 
fallen people, yet, being His people, the number that 
characterises us is not six but seven, for six without 
the seven is a dreadful number, as is shown by that 
mystical number in the book of Revelation — six 
hundred and sixty -six. But ours is the seventh, 
because we are holy unto the Lord, and even here 
have a foretaste of the coming glory. And Israel 
specially as a nation was to show forth that glorious 
millennium which we are all awaiting, when upon 
the earth there shall be the beauty of the Lord, and 
all things shall rejoice before Him, and be pros- 
perous through His presence. 

Then we have the other festivals all based upon 
the passover, which is the beginning of the year — 
the passover of which we find in the Bible seven 
celebrations recorded, the last being that, at which 
our blessed Saviour brake the bread and gave to His 
disciples. There is one aspect of the passover which 
is often overlooked, and that is the resurrection of 
our blessed Saviour, when the sheaf, as the beginning 
of the harvest, was waved towards heaven on the 
first day after the Sabbath, or on the first day of the 
week, which is Christ the first-fruits rising from the 
dead, after having been the Paschal Lamb. And so, 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 349 

seven weeks after that, there was the feast, when the 
harvest had been completed, for God combined the 
works of grace with the manifestations of His good- 
ness in nature ; and specially as Israel was an 
agricultural nation, all the blessings of God in nature 
and the events of the natural year were to be 
connected with the events of divine grace and re- 
demption. And then we have the two loaves, that 
is the conclusion of the harvest, and the realisation 
of the harvest in Israel being holy unto the Lord, 
afterwards fulfilled in Pentecost, when the hundred 
and twenty were filled with the Holy Ghost. This 
is the fulfilment, as the resurrection of Jesus is the 
fulfilment of the waving of the sheaf. And then 
there was the feast of tabernacles which looked for- 
ward to the future when Israel should rejoice before 
the Lord, reminding of the days in the wilderness, 
that they might always be humble before Him, but 
delivered from all their troubles ; — and the day 
of atonement, upon which the whole communion of 
Israel with God rested from year to year. 

And novv^ I need not say more than a few 
words about the fulfilment and the substance of all 
this to us. Among Christians there are no priests, 
because all are priests. All Christians are holy unto 
the Lord. They are a royal priesthood. They are 
all of them priests to offer up sacrifices unto the 
Lord. Those who are appointed to be stewards of 
the mysteries of God, and shepherds of the congrega- 
tions, have many names assigned to them in the New 
Testament epistles, but never is the word " priest " 
applied to them, because it would have been quite 
unintelligible both to them and their congregations, 
and a contradiction of everything that they had been 



3SO THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

taught ; for the priesthood of our blessed Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ is not after the order of Aaron, 
but after the order of Melchizedek, — and all, who be- 
long to Jesus, are holy in Him. To quote the words 
of a recent writer in Germany on the question of holi- 
ness : " It was only when the Jewish Christian branch 
of the Church had, so to speak, disappeared, that not 
knowing the Old Testament in the original, but only 
from the Septuagint version, the deterioration in the 
view of people with regard to holiness commenced 
and rapidly developed," for the idea of holiness, as I 
have often had occasion to remark, is a twofold one. 
The first, the fundamental, the primary idea, is that 
which God in His election separates unto Himself. 
The second idea, which is merely derivative, although 
special and precious, is the idea of purity — that 
what He has separated unto Himself is to con- 
sider itself separated from sin, and from the world, 
and from all ungodliness. But as in those days 
they had chiefly to do with the gross sins and vices 
of the pagans, which had come into the Christian 
Church, so they left out the primary idea of holiness, 
and laid more stress upon the secondary idea of holi- 
ness — that is purity. Precious as this idea is, — to 
present this separate from the primary idea brings us 
back into the flesh and to the law, and to that which 
is in contradistinction to all the doctrines of grace. 
And so it came to pass that people spoke about a 
very holy man. Could you imagine the apostle Paul 
or the apostle John saying " very holy " ? They 
could not say it. The expression " very holy " is an 
absurdity, for in holiness there is no degree. We 
are separated unto God by Himself. There are 
degrees of our faithfulness ; there are degrees of our 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 351 

diligence ; there are degrees of our attainments ; but 
in holiness there is no gradation. Likewise is it an 
utterly unbiblical idea to speak of " Saint " Paul or 
" Saint " John as if the other believers were not 
saints. Likewise are there no holy places any 
more : " Where two or three are gathered together 
in my name I will be in the midst of them " — 
while they are gathered together, — but when they 
are not gathered together there is nothing in the 
place whatever. The only holy place that we have 
is the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ is at the 
right hand of God. And as there are no holy places, 
so are there likewise no holy seasons. There is one 
day which we commemorate — the day on which our 
blessed Lord rose from the dead ; and that, not 
merely in contrast with the day of the Sabbath which 
the synagogue observes, but also as a kind of pre- 
liminary to it, so that both the ideas of the creation 
and of the redemption are combined in this. But how 
imperfect all this symbolism is, is evident, because 
there are so many things that have to be combined. 
The first sign of the imperfection of it all, is that 
there are so many things. It is broken up into 
fragments, and we know that in reality it could not 
be so ; it must be one. And the second sign of 
its imperfection is this — that even the priests and 
the high-priest had to offer up sacrifices, for them- 
selves to appear before God. How glorious is that 
perfection which is given to us in Christ Jesus who 
is the tabernacle, who is the priest, in whom there 
is everything that God taught His people, condescend- 
ing in His great mercy to their weakness. 

Let me add now a few words upon the law 
which God srave to Israel as a nation — the national 



352 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

law. He was their king. The first time that holi- 
ness is mentioned in the Bible is in the song of 
Moses after redemption : " Glorious in holiness, who 
is like unto Thee ? " The first time that the king- 
ship of Jehovah is mentioned is in that same song. 
In your translation it says, "Jehovah shall reign" ; 
the Hebrew is, " Jehovah shall be king for ever and 
for ever." This law which God gave to Moses, 
political and civil, or whatever you like to call it, is 
wonderful, when we contrast it with all other legisla- 
tion. Plato the great philosopher wrote a kind 
of poem of what the State should be — the ideal that 
he had of a State ; but, in the first place, this was 
all a work of imagination, and secondly, even as a 
work of imagination, his ideas of a State are such 
as cannot for a single moment be compared with 
the divine idea of a State. He only regarded what 
appeared to him the prosperity of the Common- 
wealth. The value of the individual soul, the 
sanctity of the family life — these were mysteries to 
him, which he was not able to fathom. But oh how 
different is that law which God gave to His people. 
He Himself, in the strictest sense of the word, was 
their king. Law emanates from Him ; and every- 
thing that He has commanded, even though it refers 
to minute detail of our daily life, has upon it the 
impression " I am holy." Parents, governors, magis- 
trates, are not representatives of the family or of the 
nation ; they are the representatives of God, and in 
that respect they are, so to speak, combined with 
God. The greatest justice is to be observed. The 
judge is to take no bribe. He is to consider all 
alike, as in the sight of God. And the idea of 
purity pervades the whole law of Moses, even to 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 353 

an extent we are not able to appreciate, because 
the distinction that is made with regard, for instance, 
to food, and the many regulations that are made 
in connection with the various events of life, must 
all have a symbolical meaning ; but this we can 
understand — they mean that Israel is to be separate 
unto the Lord in everything, — for the multiplicity 
of duties, relationships, and occupations, which God 
has put us into, do not contradict our being " holy 
unto the Lord " ; but God Himself must show 
us how they are to be used and enjoyed as in 
His presence, and as in communion with Him. And 
the next question as to the law is this : Where is 
the centre of gravity in the commonwealth ? It was 
a blasphemous saying of the French king, " I am the 
State " ; nor is it right to say that the masses are 
the State. The centre of Israel was Jehovah. All 
was to Him, and for Him ; and the king upon his 
throne, and the governors and rulers, and all the 
people were living for one another, because they 
were living unto God. The idea of a State, of a 
Commonwealth, and all the problems that are con- 
nected with it, — most deeply interesting and affecting 
as they are when we consider the condition of the 
world, — finds its grand solution here, if we would only 
study it and lay it to heart. The poorest among the 
Jews considered himself a nobleman. The Jews kept 
their genealogies. They were a nation of brethren. 
The twelve tribes were, as it were, twelve brother- 
hoods, and before Jehovah they were all united. 
Moses said, anticipating that there would be a king 
in Israel, that the king was not to lift up his heart 
above his brethren, — nor did God ever wish or com- 
mand that in Israel there should be great accumula- 

2 A 



354 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

tion of wealth, and of property. He Himself made 
provision against this. Poor there should always be 
in the land, but not that abject poverty which we 
behold in those countries, that call themselves 
Christian. The law was a law of kindness and of 
mercy, under which the poor, the lonely, the stranger, 
the blind and the weak and the widow and the 
orphan were to be considered, — for " I am the Lord." 
The cattle were to have rest on the Sabbath day, 
and the owners were to see that they were not over- 
burdened. And not merely was it a law of kindness, 
but it was a law of generosity. In what other legis- 
lation do you ever find such a provision made as 
this — that when we see an enemy in distress or peril, 
we are not to look away, but are to go to his assist- 
ance. How wonderfully generous were all the provi- 
sions made with regard to the poor ; what generosity 
was to be shown to them in the seventh year, and in 
the fiftieth year, and at the harvest times. And this 
law was a law which had always before itself an idea, 
— not an ascetic idea, but an idea of joy and glad- 
ness — that Israel was to rejoice before the Lord their 
God, in all the occupations which He had given them, 
and in all the blessings with which He had sur- 
rounded them, in a land that was to be fertile, as 
long as they were under the blessing of God, and in 
a land that was to be desolate so soon as they de- 
parted from God ; for even the land was in sym- 
pathy with Jehovah, as it is still in sympathy with 
Him. On this very earth of ours, and from the 
very fields and plants and trees, there shall be a 
response, when man, who is the priest of the whole 
creation of God, shall be really such a priest, in the 
presence of the Most High. But now we know that 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 355 

the law could not accomplish this, in that it was 
weak, through the flesh. Let me remind you of the 
principle I announced, which I think is the key, by 
which to understand properly the whole Old Testa- 
ment. This Mosaic law was a mere intermediate 
parenthetical dispensation ; and it was not merely, 
with reference to the individual sinner's righteousness 
and life, that the law was feeble, but also as to the 
life of the nation. With regard to the national 
position of Israel, and even with regard to Israel 
having a tenure of the land of Canaan, the law 
failed, in that it was weakened, through the flesh. 
The law made nothing perfect. The law was only 
to excite in Israel the great desire after Him, in 
whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen, — 
and to prepare and educate Israel for His advent. 

And now let us, for a few moments, look upon 
Moses, who was the mediator. God does all. — " Of 
Him and to Him are all things," — but God uses man 
as His instrument. He made the covenant with Abra- 
ham; He redeemed Israel by Moses ; He afterwards 
elected David to be the beginning of the kingdom, and 
upon these men and their faith, so to speak, depended 
the continuance of God's dealings with Israel. So we 
must learn to combine the two aspects — that all things 
are of God, and that the very beginning of our faith 
is the gift of God ; and at the same time the other 
aspect — that Abraham, Moses, David, the apostles,, 
were pillars, and the pillar has to bear a weight, and 
if the pillar gives way, that which is based upon it 
will also give way. Therefore there was a great 
weight upon Abraham, and upon Moses, and upon 
David, and upon the apostles. We are built upon 
the foundation of the apostles, Jesus Christ being 



356 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

the head corner-stone. How wonderful was that man,- 
Moses, whom God chose to be the mediator of the 
old covenant. God chose him ; God watched over 
his infancy. How marvellous was His protection. 
How marvellous was the providence which brought 
Moses into the house of Pharaoh, and still kept up 
his connection with his own family, in which Jehovah 
was known and worshipped. How marvellous was 
that choice which Moses made. He who was the only 
Hebrew who could, if he wished, forget his nation, 
and their bondage, and degradation, preferred the 
reproach of Him, of whom Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob 
had testified, to all that Egypt was able to offer to 
him. How marvellous was it afterwards, in order 
that Moses might learn to distinguish between nature 
and grace, between flesh and the spirit, that his own 
zeal and enthusiasm for his nation came to nothing. 
And then for forty years there was a time of quiet 
and isolation, when in the wilderness he was a shep- 
herd, and there God prepared him for becoming 
afterwards the shepherd of the nation. How mar- 
vellous was the appearing, in the burning bush, of 
God, or rather, of Christ, the angel of the covenant, 
who said to him, " I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob." God had to make him willing, for now 
he was not willing to go, and to be His messenger, 
and now he learned the lesson — " When I am weak 
then am I strong." God did everything, but all 
went through the trembling heart of Moses. By 
faith, he led Israel out of Egypt ; by faith, when he 
was at the Red Sea, he was crying unto the Lord, 
although he uttered not a single word, for the whole 
burden of the nation rested upon him. He it was to 
whom God gave the law, and God saw in Moses the 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 357 

whole nation. It is most touching to see how the 
whole nation of Israel was bound up in that one man 
— Moses. When God was not pleased with Israel, He 
said to Moses, " TJiy people whom thou hast brought 
up out of Egypt," and Moses complained to God and 
said, " Have I begotten them ? Am I their father ? " 
Am I their mother ? Am I to bear and nourish 
them ? Moses was full of zeal for the glory of God. 
He forgot self completely. " What will the nation 
say if thou, who hast brought them out of Egypt, 
dost not consummate thy work and thy purposes ? " 
Very touching is the intercession of Abraham for 
Sodom and Gomorrah, — but there, we are in a dif- 
ferent region. Abraham appeals to God as the God 
of heaven and earth, who will do what is right. 
Abraham is touched, with a feeling of pity and 
compassion, for the inhabitants of these cities ; 
Abraham thinks, it would not be according to 
justice that destruction should come upon them, 
if there were a few righteous men. All this is 
very noble, is very much according to the mind of 
God, and shows a heart full of faith and full of love. 
But still higher was the position of Moses. He 
alone knew God ; he alone knew Israel. When he 
was before God, it was only Israel ; when he was 
with Israel, it was only God. When God was going 
to destroy Israel, and" He offered to make Moses 
a great nation, Moses was willing to be anathema, 
that Israel might be saved. Never did any one 
rise to such a height — a height which it is almost 
impossible to contemplate, without bewilderment — 
but that dear apostle Paul who was willing to be 
anathema, on account of Israel, his kinsmen accord- 
ing to the flesh. Jesus Christ Himself is the great 



358 THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

Intercessor, who was not merely willing to die for 
us, but who was actually made sin for us, and a 
curse for us, in order that Ave might be brought to 
God. And this Moses, as the servant of God, was 
faithful in all God's house. He was prophet, priest, 
and king in Israel. To him was revealed the glory 
of God. To him were shown the mysteries of the 
kingdom, in the pattern on the Mount. His patience, 
his meekness, his love, his tenderness, his fortitude, his 
zeal — there seems no single attribute, in the character 
of the man of God, that was wanting in him ; and 
therefore it is difficult to speak of any excelling 
virtue in Moses, because he seems to have possessed 
all virtues. And yet you know that Moses also failed, 
and, strange to say, he failed just in the faithful 
representing of the mercy of God, the sovereignty 
and the grace of God, which is full of tenderness and 
of kindness, — when he did not sanctify God before the 
people, — when he did not show them the entire for- 
giveness of God, — that, notwithstanding all their ob- 
stinacy and rebelliousness, God was not merely about 
to supply them with water, but was going to give it to 
them, — without rebuking them, — or reproaching them. 
This was the sin of Moses — that he did not sanctify 
God before the nation. How can we sanctify God ? 
What can we do ? It is by not doing anything, that 
we sanctify God. It is just by leaving the name of 
God as it is, that we sanctify God, — and there it was 
that Moses failed. And so the book of Numbers is 
full of sadness and melancholy, and would end alto- 
gether in darkness, if it were not for the book of 
Deuteronomy, in which Moses appears as the prophet, 
seeing into the far distance, showing to us, in the 
first place, the spirituality of the law — that it is love 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 359 

to God and love to man — and then showing that God 
would never forsake Israel, but that, after all their 
backsliding, and after all their apostasy, and after all 
the punishments which would come upon them, God 
would again have mercy upon them, and bring them 
home to Himself, and the prayer would at last be 
fulfilled— Oh that they were wise, and had a heart 
to obey my commandments. 

The chief promise which God gave to Israel, in 
which there is advance upon the promises given in 
the book of Genesis, is the promise through Moses, 
that a prophet like unto himself, God should raise up 
to the nation, from among their brethren ; and the 
adherence to this prophet was to be the essential 
condition of a person belonging to the people of 
God. To belong to this prophet was to belong to 
God ; to reject this prophet was to reject God. 

Now let me say a few words on the death of 
Moses. The last words on record, uttered by the 
lips of Moses, are words of blessing, — even as our 
Saviour, before He was lifted up to heaven, blessed 
His disciples — " Happy art thou, O Israel " ; and 
then although Moses was still strong, his eye full of 
brightness, and his natural strength not abated, he 
died. He died not in the course of nature, — but as 
an expression of the displeasure of God, on account 
of his sin, — and also because it was not possible that 
Moses who represented the law should lead Israel 
into the promised land. Here we see how no human 
type was able to combine all that is in Christ. We 
must take Moses and Joshua together to complete 
this type. But God, before Moses died, showed to 
him, no doubt in a miraculous way, from the top of 
Mount Nebo, all the land which He was about to give 



36o THE JEWISH ORDINANCES SHOWN TO 

to His people. Then there was a remarkable thing, 
— Moses who was the man of God, Moses with whom 
God spoke, as a friend speaks to his friend, must die, 
— and therein was a most solemn lesson to himself 
and to all Israel. It was the dispensation of death, 
and he also, as a transgressor, must die. But it 
did not seem good to the heavenly wisdom, that the 
shadow of death should be beheld on that counten- 
ance, which at one time was so radiant with the 
glory of God that Israel was not able to look upon 
it, — and therefore it was that God Himself buried 
Moses ; and, many centuries after, we behold on the 
Mount of Transfiguration this same Moses, who 
represents the past and the law, and Elijah, who 
represents the prophets and the future, appearing 
to our Saviour Jesus Christ, and their conversation 
was about the death which Jesus should accomplish 
at Jerusalem ; and then the disciples, after having 
beheld Moses and Elijah, beheld Jesus, and Jesus 
only ; and the promise and prediction which Moses 
had given — " A prophet like unto me shall the Lord 
thy God raise up from among thy brethren " — was 
now ratified by the voice which came from the ex- 
cellent glory and said " Hear him." So it is that 
Moses leads us to Christ, in order that afterwards we 
should see Christ only. 

There is a twofold application of this with which 
I must conclude. 

The first is with regard to the Jews. During this 
whole present dispensation, although it is their great 
pride and delight to say " We are the disciples of 
Moses," Moses is buried, and they know not where he 
is. So was the law utterly unintelligible to Saul of 
Tarsus, and he thought that he had kept the law, and 



REVEAL VIVIDLY THE GOSPEL 361 

that he had a righteousness of his own, not under- 
standing that the law was spiritual, and that neither 
righteousness nor life came by the law ; but when 
Jesus appeared to him, then Saul of Tarsus not 
merely saw Jesus, but he saw also Moses. He 
understood then what was the real glory of Moses — 
to lead us to the Saviour ; and therefore he says 
that Israel when they read the law are not able to 
understand it, because there is a veil upon their hearts, 
but that when Israel shall turn to the Lord — he does 
not say " if" as if there were uncertainty ; it is a mere 
question of time — whenever Israel shall turn to the 
Lord, then the veil shall be taken away from their 
hearts, and they shall not merely see Jesus, but they 
shall understand, how it was the Lord who buried 
Moses, and that this Moses lives, because he testified 
of Christ. 

And the second application is to ourselves. It 
was the sign of a sincere Israelite, who loved the law 
of Moses, that, being convinced of his guilt, and of 
the weakness of the flesh, he longed after the Messiah, 
and after the promise of the Father, — the Holy Ghost ; 
and it is a sign of our sincerity, who profess to have 
received Jesus and the Holy Ghost, that we delight 
ourselves in the law, and that the righteousness of 
the law is fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh 
but after the Spirit. 



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